How Does Your Oral Health Affect Overall Health?

How Does Your Oral Health Affect Overall Health?

April 1, 2023

Do you know your oral health is significantly more important than you think? If you don’t, we suggest you learn more from this article about how the well-being of your mouth, teeth and gums affects your overall health.

Your oral health offers clues about your general health, and problems in your mouth can affect your entire body. Protect yourself by learning more association between your mouth and your body.

The Association between Your Mouth and General Health

Similar to other parts of your body, your mouth has millions of bacteria, primarily harmless. Unfortunately, your mouth is also the gateway to your digestive and respiratory tracts, and some mouth bacteria are disease prone.

Generally, the natural defense of your body, coupled with good oral care like daily brushing and flossing, helps keep bacteria in check. However, the lack of proper oral hygiene ensures the bacteria can reach harmful levels resulting in oral infections like tooth decay and gum disease. It is why the dentist near you suggests maintaining appropriate oral hygiene to prevent dental infections in your mouth.

Taking certain medications like decongestants, antihistamines, painkillers, and diuretics cause a reduction in saliva flow. Saliva helps wash food particles and neutralizes acids produced by bacteria helping protect you from microbes responsible for multiplying and resulting in disease.

Studies reveal that oral bacteria and inflammation associated with aggressive periodontitis have a role in other general health conditions. In addition, some diseases like diabetes and HIV/AIDS lower the body’s immune system to infections, increasing the severity of oral health issues.

What Conditions Are Linked to Oral Health?

Your oral health might contribute to different diseases and conditions mentioned below for your reference:

  • Endocarditis: This condition affects the inner lining of the heart chambers or valves; called endocardium occurs when bacteria and other microorganisms from other parts of your body, like your mouth, spread through your bloodstream and cling to some areas of the heart.
  • Cardiovascular Disease: the medical fraternity needs to understand the link between oral issues and cardiovascular disease fully. However, some research claims that heart disease emanating from clogged arteries and stroke might be associated with inflammation and infections caused by oral bacteria.
  • Pregnancy and Childbirth Complications: premature childbirth and low birth weight are associated with severe periodontitis.
  • Pneumonia: your lungs can pull some bacteria from your mouth, causing pneumonia and other respiratory conditions.

Some issues that might affect your oral health include the following:

  • Diabetes: diabetes reduces your body’s resistance to infections to put your gums at risk. Gum disease is prevalent among many people who have severe diabetes. Research reveals that people with gum disease confront challenging times in controlling blood sugar levels needing regular periodontal care to improve diabetes control.
  • HIV/AIDS: oral issues like mucosal lesions are frequently noticed in people having HIV/AIDS.
  • Osteoporosis: periodontal bone loss and loss of teeth are associated with osteoporosis, a bone-weakening disease. Some medications helpful to treat osteoporosis can also damage the bones and the jaw.
  • Alzheimer’s Disease: as Alzheimer’s disease progresses, worsening oral health is observed in patients.

Other conditions associated with your oral health include eating disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, immune system disorders that result in xerostomia and some cancers. When you visit the dental clinic in Little Rock for routine exams, you must share information about the medications you take and changes to your overall health, especially if you have recently experienced illness or have chronic conditions like diabetes.

How to Protect Your Oral Health?

Little Rock dentistry suggests that you protect your oral health by practicing excellent dental care habits daily by including the following in your oral hygiene regimen.

  • You must brush your teeth twice daily for two minutes using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
  • Flossing once at any time of the day is also a requirement to maintain your teeth and gums in excellent health.
  • Mouthwash use helps remove food particles left in the mouth after brushing and flossing.
  • A healthy diet and limiting consumption of sugary foods and beverages are suggested.
  • Replacing your toothbrush every quarterly or earlier if the bristles start fraying is beneficial, besides avoiding tobacco use.
  • Scheduling twice-yearly appointments with the Little Rock dentists for checkups and cleanings help improve your oral health to benefit your overall health.

Whenever you notice any oral health problem, you must contact your dentist for assistance without ignoring the issue. Consider caring for your health as an investment in your overall health that results in considerable savings.

If you want to benefit from the information in this article and protect your overall health by caring for your oral health Knight Dental Care can help you achieve your goal by providing more factual information. Please arrange a meeting with them to consult how you can improve your oral health to keep your overall health optimal.