Does oral health affect your overall health?
Your oral health is more important to your overall health than you realize. Research has shown that your dental health and overall health are connected. Poor oral health can increase your chances of tooth decay, gum disease, periodontal disease, etc. Regular visits to your dentist can keep your dental health in check and prevent these diseases. Your mouth offers a clue about your overall health.
How are your dental health and overall health connected?
The mouth has up to 6 million bacteria (mostly good bacteria). The body’s defense system can keep the bacteria under control, if oral hygiene is well maintained.
When you neglect your oral hygiene the harmful bacteria will grow significantly. The mouth is the entry gate to your respiratory and digestive system, some bacteria can cause harmful disease These bacteria can enter other the body through the bloodstream and cause mild to extreme harm.
Also, intake of medications such as decongestants, antihistamines, painkillers, diuretics, and antidepressants – can reduce your flow of saliva. Saliva is essential to the mouth as it prevents food particles sticking to the tooth surfaces, it neutralizes acids produced by the bacteria inside the mouth thus helping to protect your body from harmful microbes.
Research states that systemic diseases or diseases involving organs have oral manifestations, that can be crucial if detected early. Certain diseases such as HIV/AIDs and diabetes lower the body’s resistance to infections, making oral health problems severe.
What severe conditions can be linked to your oral health?
Your oral hygiene can contribute to many severe diseases or conditions, including:
- Pneumonia: Harmful bacteria can cause pneumonia and other dangerous respiratory diseases.
- Endocarditis: This infection occurs in the inner lining of your heart valves (endocardium). It is typically caused when germs from the mouth spread through the bloodstream.
- Pregnancy and birth complications: Premature birth and low birth weight are linked to hormones and gum health.
- Cardiovascular disease: Research suggests that clogged arteries, heart disease, and stroke might be linked to oral bacteria.
How to protect your Oral Health?
- Brushing twice a day is highly recommended with a soft-bristled brush.
- Floss daily.
- Use mouthwash
- Eat a healthy and nutritional diet and limit your sugar content.
- Replace the toothbrush once after every three months or if you are sick.
- Schedule regular dental checkups every 6 months.
- Avoid smoking and tobacco products.
Oral health is an investment to overall health