How vision and dental screenings can save your life

Examining mouthSuppose you have near-perfect eyesight, and you’ve never had problems with your teeth – one cavity, no braces, no problems. You may assume that you can safely and routinely skip visits to the dentist and the eye doctor, but you would be wrong. A number of diseases and health complications can quickly crop up if you go too long without scheduling appointments. Yearly visits to these specialists can go a long way in maintaining your general health – and the sparkle of those pearly whites.

Dental – The mouth is the starting point for everything that enters the body, yet only 62 percent of adults regularly visit their dentists, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Recent studies have revealed connections between oral health and heart, memory, and joint health. Over time, poor dental care can breed bacteria and cause inflammation, which could develop into heart disease. Likewise, poor gum care has been linked to forgetfulness and increased memory loss. The longer one goes in not seeing the dentist, the more their risk for infection increases. Infection of the teeth or gums has also been linked to such problems as rheumatoid arthritis, or the painful inflammation of one’s joints. Finally, another benefit of seeing your dentist is to discuss medications. Even something like an anti-depressant could lead to an oral health side effect – like gingivitis. Discussing your health plan with your dentist could lead to important insights for your general health.

Vision – Eye health is a significant indicator of one’s overall health, just like oral hygiene. High blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol all affect your eyes and can be detected by regular eye exams. These conditions each concern the pressure and blood flow in your eye; and that’s something only a trained professional can examine. Serious complications from diabetes can lead to glaucoma and blindness. So even if your eyesight seems normal and unchanged to you, the untrained eye can only tell so much. Without consistent checkups, disease indicators will go unnoticed and could develop into serious, life-threatening problems.

Take the time to schedule appointments, and then consistently follow through every year. Most of these offices make it very easy to stay on track by emailing or texting appointment reminders. It’s much easier to maintain routine visits than to deal with the hassle of a major health complication later on down the road.

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