Dental Health/Oral Health: How does it affect your overall health

Dental Health/Oral Health: How does it affect your overall health

Dental Health/Oral Health: How does it affect your overall health

The mouth is the gateway way of the body. The popular saying generally explains the connection between the body and your oral hygiene. We often forget that oral hygiene is much more than a healthy tooth, but spreads across the gum, underlying tissues; including the bones, ligaments, muscles, glands, and nerves. Thus, keeping the mouth healthy plays a key role in helping your body against other diseases. To further elaborate, dental health often referred to as oral health is focused on how you take care of the mouth generally. The basic methods adapted are brushing your teeth, flossing, visiting the dentist, and the use of mouthwash. The major goal is to prevent oral diseases and to maintain your general oral health. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

What’s the connection between oral health/ dental health and overall health?

Bacteria are present everywhere. Whether it be your nails, hair, in the air, on surfaces, on your body, in your mouth, and more! However, mostly they are harmless. They sometimes help in the metabolism mechanics involved with the body. However, remember that the mouth is the link point with your body system. Systems like the digestive system, the respiratory tracts, the cardiovascular system, and more. So, if you take improper care of your mouth, you would be inviting bacteria in to cause diseases. 

On a norm, the body has general defenses to help us maintain good dental health but activities like brushing and flossing can help keep bacteria present in the mouth under control. When basic oral health is neglected, bacteria in the mouth can rise to a level where the body system can’t defend it anymore thus leading to oral infections including tooth decay and gum diseases. 

Morseo, the saliva plays a major role in helping us maintain perfect dental hygiene. It serves as a cleaning agent washing away already consumed food and neutralizing acids formed by the bacteria present in the mouth. The functionality of the saliva in the mouth helps protect the multiplication of the bacteria in the mouth that can lead to disease. 

Research has proven that the effect of oral bacteria on gum disease (periodontal disease) plays a major role in some diseases. And certain diseases, such as diabetes and HIV/AIDS, can lower the body’s resistance to infection, making oral health problems more severe.

Dental Health: What Conditions can be linked to Oral Health? 

We have explained how your dental health or oral health is linked to the body generally. You would now totally understand why there is a major emphasis on the way you keep your oral hygiene. Slack in your dental hygiene simply means an embrace of other diseases. This slack may lead to diseases like 

  • Endocarditis. 

This is a type of infection that affects the inner lining of the heart chambers. It occurs when bacteria from any part of the body including your mouth get into your bloodstream. 

  • Cardiovascular Diseases 

The connection on how the bacterias in the mouth affects the heart is not yet fully proven, however there is research that suggests that heart disease, clogged strokes might be linked to dental health or oral health. 

  • Pregnancy and Birth Complications

Gum disease known as periodontitis has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight. 

  • Pneumonia 

Several bacteria can get attached to your lungs, thereby causing pneumonia and other complicated respiratory diseases. 

Dental Health: Certain Conditions That Can Affect Your Oral Health 

Certain conditions also might affect your oral health, including:

  • Diabetes

A reduction in body resistance can lead to other diseases. In the case of diabetes, you put your gums at risk. Case studies have proven that the occurrence of gum diseases are frequent and severe amongst diabetic patients. Further diggings have also proven that gum disease patients have a harder time controlling their blood sugar levels. 

  • HIV/AIDS. 

Oral problems, such as painful mucosal lesions, are common in people who have HIV/AIDS.

  • Osteoporosis. This bone-weakening disease is linked with periodontal bone loss and tooth loss. Certain drugs used to treat osteoporosis carry a small risk of damage to the bones of the jaw.
  • Alzheimer’s disease. Worsening oral health is seen as Alzheimer’s disease progresses.

Other conditions that might be linked to oral health include eating disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, certain cancers and an immune system disorder that causes dry mouth (Sjogren’s syndrome).

At Smile360 dental clinic, during clerking sessions, we advise that our patients open up with their past medical history and if they have been on certain drugs. 

How can I protect my oral health?

To protect your oral health, practice good oral hygiene daily.

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a medium-bristled brush using fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss daily.
  • Use mouthwash to remove food particles left after brushing and flossing.
  • Eat a healthy diet and limit food with added sugars.
  • Replace your toothbrush every three months or sooner if bristles are splayed or worn.
  • Schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings.
  • Avoid tobacco use.

Also, contact your dentist as soon as an oral health problem arises. Taking care of your oral health is an investment in your overall health. Contact your dentist before your oral health gets worse. Prevention is always better than cure.

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