Hunting season is in full swing, so you might be thinking about upgrading your gear. While a new gun or even a 4×4 might be in the cards, it might be time to think about other upgrades — like your teeth.

A new rifle might make it easier to bag that buck, but teeth make it easier to live. Taking good care of our mouths keeps us healthy and smiling. Here’s three reasons to schedule that dental appointment you’ve been putting off before heading to the nearest sporting goods store.

A young man wearing a winter coat and hat while in the snow ou in a forest

They Help With Digestion

The first step to healthy digestion and nutrient absorption starts in your mouth. Chewing food with healthy teeth breaks down particles, reducing stress on your throat and stomach, and releasing saliva which contains digestive enzymes. Chewing also signals the stomach that nutrients are own their way, triggering the production of hydrochloric acid.

Anyone with misaligned teeth or cavities know the difficulty this causes, and improperly chewed food can cause gut problems later in life. Game meat can be among the hardest challenges for your teeth, especially if you are making it into jerky. What’s the point of hunting if you can’t enjoy the fruit of your labors?

They Keep You Looking Sharp

A survey conducted by a popular dating website found that more than half the participants surveyed, regardless of gender, considered teeth to be the most important asset of a potential date.

To most, this probably doesn’t seem like a big surprise. Teeth are the first thing others see when we speak, laugh, or smile, and having chipped or discolored teeth can even hurt our job prospects.

They Keep You Healthy

You know that having a good hunting season means staying healthy. Getting up early to get in your blind doesn’t help if you’re coughing and sneezing constantly. Not properly taking care of your teeth leads to serious complications beyond cavities. Unhealthy teeth and gums can stress your immune system and make it harder for your body to fight off colds and flu.

Gum disease, if left untreated, has been associated with dementia, diabetic complications, and cardiovascular disease. More so, scheduling regular checkups with your dentist can potentially alert you to other conditions.

  • Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI)

OI is one of the most common bone diseases, and results in brittle bones that fracture more easily. In general, this condition is diagnosed after a fracture has already taken place, but there are key signs your dentist may be able to pick up on: blue or brown teeth, abnormally large dental pulps, etc.

  • Sleep Apnea

Because of the relationship between sleep apnea and the size of a patient’s tongue and throat, and the wearing of teeth from clenching or grinding, often dentists will be the first to spot potential issues. If left untreated, sleep apnea can result in high blood pressure or heart disease.

Maybe the best thing you can do to get ready for next hunting season is to maintain a healthy mouth. As an adult, it’s recommended you visit the dentist at least every six months for a cleaning. If you’re currently experiencing any pain or discomfort, you should schedule an appointment immediately. The longer you wait, the more costly procedures can become.

If you’re looking for a checkup in Anchorage, please call (907) 349-0022 today for an appointment at Excellence in Dentistry.