How Does Dental Health Affect Your Overall Health?
According to the latest research report published in the Journal of the American Dental Association (ADA), poor oral/dental health is identified as a risk factor for overall health as the health of your teeth, gum and mouth has a great effect on your overall well-being.
Here's how dental health affects your overall health:
- An unhealthy mouth increases the risk of many serious health issues such as Endocarditis - inflammation of your heart’s inner lining. When bacteria from your mouth spread throughout your body, it infects your heart's lining.
- Gum infection may lead to cardiovascular disease, poorly controlled diabetes and preterm birth.
- Bacteria in your mouth cause dental plaque which is linked to many diseases and infections.
- Your mouth becomes the source of infection if you don't brush and floss regularly.
- What's in your mouth tells your dentist what's happening inside your body.
- According to the Academy of General Dentistry, 90% of systemic diseases show early oral signs and symptoms.
How are Oral Health and Overall Health Connected?
Your mouth contains harmless bacteria which are kept under control through natural defenses of your body and good oral hygiene habits. However, if you do not follow proper oral hygiene, these bacteria may lead to oral problems like tooth decay and gum disease that result in many serious health problems.
Saliva helps to protect you from disease-causing bacteria and viruses. It washes away food particles and neutralizes acids that are produced by the bacteria thriving in your mouth. Certain medications like painkillers and antidepressants reduce saliva flow disrupting the balance of bacteria in your mouth and compromising your natural defenses.
What are the Symptoms or Signs of Poor Dental Health?According to the research of AAP (American Association of Periodontology), these are the symptoms of poor dental health:
- Your gums maybe red, swollen and sore to touch.
- Your gums may bleed while eating, brushing or flossing.
- You may notice strange changes around the gums and teeth.
- Or, you may have bad breath or feel a bad taste in your mouth.
- You may find loose teeth or abnormal gaps between teeth.
5 Health Conditions Linked to Poor Oral/Dental Health
Poor oral care may cause many serious health problems than a simple cavity, toothache or stains. If you will not take proper care of your mouth and teeth, it may lead to various diseases and health problems including:
1. Diabetic Complications
Gum disease makes it difficult to control your blood sugar level and worsens your diabetes symptoms. People with diabetes are at a great risk of developing gum disease as diabetes reduces your body's resistance to infection. Regular periodontal care is essential to improve diabetes control.
2. Heart Disease
Heart disease, stroke, and clogged arteries may be linked to the infection and inflammation caused by oral bacteria. People with gum disease are at an increased risk of heart attack. Endocarditis occurs when bacteria from your mouth enter the bloodstream and infects the inner lining of your heart.
3. Pregnancy Complications
Severe gum disease increases the risk of premature birth and low birth weight in babies. Bacteria in the mouth release toxins which interfere with the development of the fetus. Also, due to oral infection, the mother produces labor-triggering substances leading to premature labor and birth.
Osteoporosis - a severe disease linked to a periodontal tooth and bone loss. Medicines used for treating osteoporosis may cause damage to the bones of your jaw.
5. Respiratory Infections
Gum disease may cause infection in your lungs, including pneumonia. Bacteria in an unhealthy mouth can enter into your lungs causing pneumonia. Improved oral health helps in reducing respiratory infections.
Prevention Ideas: How Can You Protect Your Oral Health?
Practice good oral hygiene habits to improve your oral/dental health. Follow these tips to take care of your dental health throughout your lifetime.Infants
- Clean your baby's teeth daily. Rub them gently with a clean and wet washcloth when the teeth first appear. Use a toothbrush once they are bigger.
- Don't allow your baby to sleep with a bottle as it can cause cavities.
- Teach them how to brush the teeth properly.
- Avoid giving them sticky candy and give them low-sugar snacks.
- Take them to the dentist regularly.
- Use fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth twice a day.
- Floss your teeth once daily.
- Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco as it can cause stains, bad breath, and even cancer.
- Visit your dentist every six months for regular checkups.
- Brush your teeth twice a day using fluoride toothpaste.
- Remember to floss your teeth once a day.
- Don't smoke or chew tobacco.
- Additionally, check if some of your medications have any side effects that may damage your teeth.
- Visit your dentist on a regular basis for checkup and cleanings.
If you have any serious problems with your teeth or mouth, visit your dentist right away! You can also schedule an appointment with Reign Dental offices near the Seattle area, Shoreline or Milton, WA.
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