The Connection Between Your Dental Health and Vision

You care for your teeth to keep them healthy and strong, but, as you may know, poor dental health can negatively affect other systems in your body. There is a connection between diabetes and gum disease, for instance, and bacteria from tooth decay can impact your heart health. What you may not realize, though, is that there is a connection between your dental health and your vision. Could caring for your teeth actually protect your vision?

What is the connection between oral health and eye health? According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, oral infections, including periodontal disease, cause an inflammatory response that can damage the optic nerve and cause vision loss. Additionally, people who have old mercury fillings may be at risk for vision problems that include iritis, color-vision issues, retinitis pigmentosa, and the formation of cataracts.

Poor dental hygiene is also known to contribute to the development of open-angle glaucoma. A degenerative eye disease, open-angle glaucoma results from increased fluid build-up in the eye that places damaging pressure on the optic nerve. Left untreated, this condition can cause vision loss and even blindness. One recent study found that the number of natural teeth a person has, an indication of the person’s dental care, is related to the risk of developing glaucoma.

While seeing an eye doctor is important for keeping your eyes healthy, it seems to be just as important to practice good dental habits. These habits include brushing teeth at least twice a day and flossing at least once, rinsing daily with an anti-bacterial mouthwash, having old fillings replaced with safer materials, and seeing a dentist for gingivitis treatment or a root canal for a badly diseased tooth. Eating a nutrient-dense diet and avoiding unhealthy practices like smoking and using your teeth for things unrelated to chewing food are also healthy habits. It is also a good practice to see a dentist twice a year for preventative cleanings and follow-up exams.

One of the most important factors when it comes to caring for your teeth is finding a good dentist. At Park 56 Dental Group, we offer pediatric, prosthodontics, endodontics, oral surgery, Invisalign®, emergency, and sedation dentistry, all at the highest level of treatment. We serve the Midtown, Central Park, Upper East Side, Park Avenue, and all surrounding Manhattan and New York areas, with a patient-centered practice that has hours to fit your schedule. Schedule your complimentary consultation today by contacting us online or calling us at (212) 826-2322.