How Oral Health Affects Your Body’s Health
Oral health is a key component to your overall health and well-being at every stage of life. A healthy mouth is an important part of feeling good physically and helps you feel confident about your smile.
How is Oral Health Connected to Your Overall Health?
Your body is a series of systems that connect in various ways. If one system is not properly taken care of, it’s bound to affect others. The inside of your mouth, like many parts of your body, is teeming with mostly harmless bacteria, however, we are constantly consuming foods and liquids which can, on occasion, introduce harmful bacteria orally.
If you brush and use mouth wash daily this likely won’t be an issue, however, it is important to note that your mouth is the entry point to your digestive and respiratory tracts; if harmful bacteria gets into those systems, it can cause serious damage. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Normally the body’s natural defenses and good oral health care, such as daily brushing and flossing, keep bacteria under control. However, without proper oral hygiene, bacteria can reach levels that might lead to oral infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease.”
What Issues Can Poor Dental Hygiene Cause?
Poor dental hygiene can cause far more serious issues than bad breath or stained teeth. The Mayo Clinic notes four diseases and conditions that can be attributed to a lack of proper oral health:
- “Endocarditis. This infection of the inner lining of your heart chambers or valves (endocardium) typically occurs when bacteria or other germs from another part of your body, such as your mouth, spread through your bloodstream and attach to certain areas in your heart.
- Cardiovascular disease. Although the connection is not fully understood, some research suggests that heart disease, clogged arteries and stroke might be linked to the inflammation and infections that oral bacteria can cause.
- Pregnancy and birth complications. Periodontitis has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight.
- Pneumonia. Certain bacteria in your mouth can be pulled into your lungs, causing pneumonia and other respiratory diseases.
How Can I Improve My Oral Health?
To protect your oral health, practice good oral hygiene daily and consult our articles about dental hygiene. Here are our top recommendations to improve your oral health:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled brush using fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss every day or use a water flosser.
- Consider switching to an electronic toothbrush.
- Use mouthwash to remove food particles left after brushing and flossing.
- Eat a healthy diet and limit foods with added sugars.
- Replace your toothbrush every three months or sooner if bristles are splayed or worn.
- Replace your toothbrush anytime you are sick.
- 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 maintaining your long-term overall health.
Do You Still Have Questions?
For questions regarding dental health or dental procedures that give you the smile you’ve always dreamed of, please contact us at (360) 748-1833 or email us at email@example.com.
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