Your oral health has significant role to play than you may realize. Get the facts about how the health of your mouth, teeth and gums will affect your general health. Did you know that your oral health can offer clues about your overall health? The problems in thr mouth can affect the rest of your body. Understanding the intimate connection between the oral health and the overall health is what you can do to protect yourself.
Like many areas of the body, your mouth is teeming with bacteria and most of them are harmless. Normally, the body’s natural defences and good oral healthcare such as flossing and brushing can help to keep the bacteria under control. However, without proper oral hygiene, the bacteria levels in the mouth can lead to oral infections such as gum disease or tooth decay. Additionally, certain medications such as painkillers, decongestants, diuretics and antihistamines can reduce the saliva flow. The saliva washes away the food and neutralize the acids produced by the bacteria in the mouth to help you protect from the microbial invasion or the overgrowth leading to disease.
As per studies, the oral bacteria and the inflammation related with the periodontitis which is a severe form of gum disease might play a significant role in some diseases. Further, certain diseases such as HIV/AIDS and diabetes can lower the resistance of the body to infection and make the oral health problems more severe. Taking good care of your mouth, gums and teeth is a worthy goal in and of itself.
The good oral and dental hygiene can help to prevent the bad breath, gum disease and tooth decay. It can also help you to keep your teeth healthy as you get older. The researchers are discovering new reasons for flossing and brushing. A healthy mouth may help you to ward off the medical disorders.
On the flip side, an unhealthy mouth, especially if you have the gum disease, it may increase the risk of serious health problems such as stroke, heart attack, preterm labor and the poorly controlled diabetes. The case for the good oral hygiene will keep getting stronger. Let us now understand the connection between the oral health and the overall health.
What conditions may be linked to oral health?
The conditions that may be linked to the oral health may either be affected by or contribute to various conditions and diseases such as the following:
The endocarditis is an infection of the inner lining of the heart or the endocardium. This condition typically occurs when the bacteria or other germs from another part of the body such as the mouth will spread through the bloodstream and get attached to the damaged regions of the heart.
As per some research, the heart disease, clogged arteries and stroke may be linked to the infections and inflammations caused by the oral bacteria.
Pregnancy and birth
The periodontitis has been related to premature birth as well as low birth weight.
Diabetes reduces the resistance of the body to infection which puts the gums at risk. The gum diseases seem to be more frequent and severe among people who have diabetes. As per the research, people having gum disease will have a harder time to control their blood sugar levels.
The oral problems such as the painful mucosal lesions are common in people with HIV/AIDS.
It causes the bones to become weak and brittle. This may also be linked with the periodontal bone loss and tooth loss.
The tooth loss before age of 35 might be a risk factor for patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
How can I protect my oral health?
Practive good oral hygiene every day to protect your oral health.
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste
- Floss daily
- Eat a healthy diet and limit between the meal snacks
- Replace the toothbrush every three to four months or sooner in case the bristles are frayed
- Avoid tobacco use
- Schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings
- Contact your dentist as soon as an oral health problem arises.
Taking good care of the oral health is an investment in your overall health. If you didn;t already have enough reasons to take good care of your mouth, gums and teeth, then it is highly recommended to understand the relationship between the oral health and your overall health for now and the future.