You may not realize how important your oral health really is. You can improve your overall health by taking care of your mouth, teeth, and gums.
Is it possible that the health of your mouth is a sign of your overall health, or that your oral health affects your health in other ways? Learn how oral health affects overall health and take steps to protect yourself.
The Way Oral Health Affects Overall Health, What Is The Connection?
Mouth bacteria are mostly harmless, similar to those found in other parts of the body. However, the mouth is home to bacteria that can infect the digestive and respiratory systems.
A good oral hygiene routine, such as brushing and flossing daily, keeps bacteria under control. In contrast, bacterial levels can reach levels that might cause dental infections, including tooth decay and gum disease, without proper oral hygiene.
Decongestants, antihistamines, painkillers, diuretics, and antidepressants are also known to reduce salivation. You can protect yourself from diseases caused by bacteria by washing away food and neutralizing acids produced by bacteria in your mouth through saliva.
According to some studies, oral bacteria and inflammation caused by gum disease (periodontitis) might contribute to some diseases. Several diseases, such as diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and cancer, can impair the body’s ability to fight infection, which can contribute to oral health problems.
What Conditions Are Associated With Oral Health?
You may be at risk for developing certain diseases and conditions if your oral health is poor:
- Inflammatory bowel disease. A heart endocarditis infection occurs when bacteria or other germs reach your heart through your bloodstream and attach to certain areas of your heart.
- Cardiovascular disease. Researchers believe an association exists between inflammation and infection caused by oral bacteria and heart attack, clogged arteries, and stroke, although the connection is not well understood.
- Pregnancy and birth complications. Periodontitis has been linked to premature births and low birth weights.
- Pneumonia. It is possible for bacteria in your mouth to be drawn into your lungs, resulting in pneumonia.
Oral health is also affected by a number of conditions, such as:
- Diabetes. Diabetes increases your gums’ risk of infection by reducing the body’s immunity. People with diabetes are more likely to suffer from gum disease. Gum disease affects blood sugar control more severely in people who have it. Patients with periodontal disease may benefit from regular dental care.
- HIV/AIDS. People who have HIV/AIDS commonly experience oral problems, such as painful mucosal lesions.
- Osteoporosis. Bone loss, tooth loss, and bone weakening are all linked with this disease. The jawbone can be damaged by some osteoporosis drugs.
- Alzheimer’s disease. The oral health of Alzheimer’s patients deteriorates as the disease advances.
- In addition to dry mouth (Sjogren’s syndrome), eating disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, and certain cancers are other conditions that may have some relation to oral health.
Be sure your dentist knows which medications you take and what changes have been made to your health, particularly if you’ve recently been sick or have chronic conditions like diabetes.
Which Oral Health Precautions Should I Take?
Practicing good oral hygiene daily will protect your dental health.
- Make sure you brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day using a soft-bristled brush.
- Keep your mouth clean by flossing every day. Consider using an automatic teeth flosser.
- Following brushing and flossing, use mouthwash to remove food particles.
- Limit foods with added sugars and eat a healthy diet.
- When the bristles are frayed or worn, replace them every three months.
- Regularly scheduled dental cleanings and checkups.
- Avoid using tobacco.
Whenever you experience an oral health problem, contact your dentist immediately. It is vital that you invest in your oral health. This guide should help you to understand how looking after your teeth is an important part of your health.