The Link Between Oral Health and Total Health

Taking care of your teeth and gums every day will only have a good effect on your oral and overall health. Brushing and flossing daily can help prevent tooth decay, enamel erosion, and gum disease. However, research has shown that bad oral health can lead to more serious conditions that may be present elsewhere in your body. Bad oral hygiene can cause bacteria buildup, which can flow into your blood stream and internal organs causing other health problems. Knowing the link between your teeth and overall health can help prevent the development of future oral health conditions and other serious conditions.

Diabetes

Because diabetes reduces the body’s resistance to infections, people who have diabetes have a higher risk for gum disease over those who don’t. Excess glucose, or sugar, in the blood can cause pain, infection, and inflammation in the gums. If glucose levels aren’t controlled, harmful bacteria can grow, leading to gum disease.

Pregnancy

Bad oral health can also cause complications during pregnancy. Hormonal changes during pregnancy may increase the risk of gum inflammation leading to gum disease. Recent research has shown that gum disease is linked to premature and underweight births.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis and oral health are also directly related. Osteoporosis causes bones to be dense, brittle, and can fracture easily. The disease can damage the jawbone, triggering several oral health issues such as, gum disease and loss of teeth. Dentists are also able to see advance signs of osteoporosis before a doctor might. Wear and tear to the jaw or teeth can alert them that you could possibly have osteoporosis.

Heart disease

There is also a link between heart disease and gum disease. Excess bacteria in the mouth can cause endocarditis, an infection of the inner lining of the heart, by attacking damaged parts of the heart. Maintaining good oral hygiene and health can help keep bacteria under control and stop it from entering the blood stream into the heart.

Prevention

There are many actions to take to ensure you have pristine oral health to prevent more serious conditions. Common practices such as brushing and flossing twice a day can increase oral health and prevent bacteria from entering your blood stream. Attending regular check-ups with your dentist can also help keep you aware of your current oral health and how to maintain or improve it. Eating a healthy diet can also increase your oral health because it provides necessary nutrients that can help prevent gum disease.

Paying attention to your oral health is crucial to overall health. Taking care of your mouth can help prevent bacteria from flowing to internal organs causing more serious health conditions. Remember to brush and floss daily, and never skip out on seeing the dentist!

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