The Link Between Oral Health and Overall Health
You’re likely well aware that good oral hygiene is important to the longevity of your teeth and the health of your mouth. Brushing and flossing your teeth keeps them strong and your gums free from inflammation or disease. It’s also vital to have regular checkups with your dentist to maintain a bright, healthy smile. What you may not realize is that good oral hygiene can have a profound effect on your general well-being. The health of your teeth and gums plays a surprising role in maintaining your overall health. This means caring for your teeth and seeing your dentist regularly isn’t just strengthening your smile, but your health on the whole.
How Your Oral Health Affects Your Overall Well-Being
When it comes to your body’s robustness, bacteria are tiny overlords that dictate quite a lot about your health. From gut bacteria affecting kidney function, mental health, and more, to bacterial infections causing illness, these microscopic monarchs play a large role when it comes to your well-being. You carry a bacterial hothouse with you everywhere you go: your mouth. Your mouth is a playground for bacteria. These bacteria are generally harmless. However, your mouth is also the door to your digestive and respiratory tracts, and bacteria that aren’t a problem in your mouth may cause disease elsewhere in your body. Maintaining good oral hygiene bolsters your mouth’s ability to keep these bacteria in check. A lack of proper mouth care can allow bacteria to reach levels that are prone to oral infections, such as gum disease or tooth decay. It also helps prevent those bacteria from escaping to deeper parts of your body, where they can cause difficulties. Studies now indicate that mouth bacteria may also play a role in some diseases. Conversely, studies also suggest that diseases like diabetes, AIDS or HIV, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s disease, may worsen oral health problems.
Conditions Affected by Oral Health
It can be hard to believe that not brushing your teeth affects your heart health, yet it’s now accepted knowledge that this occurs. There are several surprising conditions that poor oral health can contribute to:
- Pneumonia – Some mouth bacteria, when carried into the lungs, can cause respiratory issues such as pneumonia.
- Cardiovascular Disease – While doctors don’t fully understand the connection, research shows that infections and inflammation from oral bacteria can lead to stroke, clogged arteries, and heart disease.
- Endocarditis – This infection of your heart’s lining can occur when bacteria and germs from the rest of your body, such as your mouth, travel through your bloodstream to your heart.
- Pregnancy and Birth Complications – Periodontitis has been associated with low birth weight and premature birth.
Ways to Protect Your Oral Health and General Well-Being
Maintaining your oral health and protecting your overall wellness doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated. Wither continue doing or be sure to begin routinely doing the following things in order to help protect your oral and overall health:
- Brush your teeth twice a day, for two – three minutes each time.
- Floss your teeth daily.
- Use mouthwash after you brush and floss to help remove remaining food particles and bacteria.
- Replace your toothbrush every few months. Replace it sooner if the bristles look ragged or worn or you experience and overcome a cold or other illness.
- Avoid using tobacco products.
- Eat healthy food,limiting sugary foods and drinks.
- See your dentist regularly for dental check-ups and cleanings.
Good health starts with you at Novi Oaks Dental! Schedule your appointment today and start to explore how this skilled and professional dental team can partner with you to ensure you’re in the best dental health of your life.