The best way to think about your body and your health is to compare it to something else with which you are familiar. Let’s think about your body as a car. You know that you need fuel (food and water) to make your vehicle run, and you know that once in a while something may go wrong with your car that requires you to take it to a mechanic (a doctor). You know that if you perform routine maintenance on your car (sleeping well, eating healthy foods, exercising), that you will have to take it to the mechanic less often.

If you were driving your car around and you noticed that the headlights stopped working, you wouldn’t ignore that, would you? What about if the engine started to sputter and smoke? And soon after, you noticed that the car was having problems shifting gears…Would you just keep driving, hoping that it will eventually fix itself? Hopefully, you would pull over right away and have your vehicle taken to a mechanic that can diagnose and fix whatever has gone wrong.

The same logic applies to your body and your overall health — if you ignore problems, not only will they not get better on their own, they can damage other systems that weren’t originally affected. It is for this reason that you need to see a dentist. Your oral health is a vital part of a healthy body. If your teeth, jaw, gums, and tongue aren’t working as they should, if they hurt, or they don’t feel good, it means that something is wrong and that other problems aren’t far behind.