How your Oral Health Affect Your Overall Health?
While your mouth is only a small part of your body, your oral health plays a crucial role in your overall well-being. There’s a great connection between your oral and overall health. A problem in your mouth can affect your mouth and vice versa.
In some cases, your oral health provides clues about your overall health. Keep reading to learn more about the connection between your oral and overall health.
The Connection Between Oral And Overall Health
Your mouth is a window to your overall health. It’s the entry point to many parts of your body, like the digestive and respiratory systems.
Like most parts of the body, the mouth is a host to millions of germs and bacteria, which, when under control, are harmless. A strong immune system, proper diet, and proper oral hygiene can keep these bacteria under control and keep your mouth disease-free.
However, factors like poor oral hygiene and a diet high in sugars and starches can encourage the bacteria to multiply and overgrow to harmful levels. If not removed, these bacteria and germs lead to oral problems like tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath, and oral thrush.
Recent studies suggest that oral bacteria associated with periodontal or gum disease play a role in developing or worsening certain health diseases.
Similarly, it’s worth noting that certain medications and health conditions can affect your oral health. For instance, they can cause a dry mouth, increasing your risk of oral infections.
Sufficient saliva flow is essential to wash away bacteria, debris, and acids from the mouth. Do you have untreated oral problems or symptoms? Contact our oral health dentist in Glastonbury, CT, for treatments.
Health Conditions Linked to Poor Oral Health
Poor oral hygiene and health can contribute to various health conditions and diseases:
- Endocarditis: It refers to the infection of the inner lining of the heart chambers or endocardium. It commonly happens when germs or bacteria from one part of the body spread through the bloodstream and attach to some areas in the heart.
- Cardiovascular disease: Several studies suggest that periodontal bacteria and inflammations can lead to heart disease, stroke, and clogged arteries.
- Pregnancy and birth complications: Some researchers have linked severe gum disease or periodontitis to pregnancy issues like low birth weight and premature birth.
- Pneumonia: Periodontal bacteria in the mouth can get into the lungs, leading to pneumonia, lung infections, and other respiratory diseases.
- Diabetes: Research shows that people with gum disease, especially advanced gum disease, have a harder time stabilizing their blood sugar or glucose levels.
Health Conditions That Affect Your Oral Health
Certain conditions and diseases can also affect your oral health. These include:
- Diabetes: Diabetes reduces the body’s resistance to infections and increases sugars in your saliva, increasing your risk of bacterial infections like gum disease and tooth decay. Research shows that people with diabetes are more likely to get gum disease than those who don’t have diabetes.
- HIV/AIDS: People with HIV/AIDS are likely to experience painful mucosal lesions.
- Osteoporosis: Periodontal bone and tooth loss are linked with a bone-weakening disease called osteoporosis. Certain drugs used to treat this condition carry a small risk of jawbone damage.
- Alzheimer’s disease: The progression of Alzheimer’s disease is associated with worsening oral health.
Other Conditions Include:
- Eating disorders
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Immune system disorders like Sjogren’s syndrome
- Certain cancers and their treatments
Visit our family dentistry in Glastonbury, CT, if you have health conditions or medications that affect your oral health.
Tips to Protect Your Oral and Overall Health
Use the tips below to care for your mouth and body and ensure optimal oral and overall health:
- Brush regularly, at least twice daily, for about two minutes. Use a soft-bristled electric or manual brush and fluoride toothpaste. Replace your toothbrush every 3 – 4 months.
- Floss daily to remove plaque and debris deep between teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach.
- Rinse with mouthwash after eating, brushing, and flossing.
- Eat a healthy diet and keep hydrated.
- Limit sugary and highly processed foods and drinks.
- Avoid or limit tobacco and alcohol.
- Schedule routine professional cleanings and check-ups.
- Use a mouth guard for bruxism and sports.
- Seek treatment for underlying health conditions like diabetes.
- Seek treatment for oral health problems.
Schedule an Appointment Today
Are you interested in oral health education and treatments? Contact Steven F. Hinchey, DMD, for more information.