How Oral Health Affects Your Overall Health

How Oral Health Affects Your Overall Health

Most people are unaware that oral health is linked to overall health in many ways.  In fact, it can exhibit numerous clues about medical conditions affecting the overall health.  Like so many regions in our body, our mouth remains as a hotspot for bacteria which are mostly harmless in nature.

Usually good oral hygiene such as brushing and flossing as well as the natural defenses in the body keep them under control.  But they could reach higher levels which might cause oral infections like gum diseases and tooth decay if proper oral health is not maintained. 

Additionally, some medicines such as antidepressants, diuretics, painkillers, antihistamines and decongestants could minimize the flow of saliva.  Saliva helps in neutralizing the acids produced by the bacteria found in the mouth thereby protecting you from microbial overgrowth or invasion that could potentially lead to a disease.

 

Heart Disease & Diabetes

Several studies show that gum inflammation raises the risk of stroke and heart disease.  The reason could be because gum diseases are thought to elevate inflammation all over the body which is deemed to cause cardiovascular diseases. 

As per the Canadian Academy of Periodontology, those who suffer from periodontal disease have a higher risk of heart disease possessing double the risk of experiencing a severe heart attack than those without periodontal disease. 

While it remains a known fact that diabetic patients are more susceptible to gum diseases, new studies reveal a different story.  Since serious gum diseases affect the levels of blood glucose in the body, it could really contribute towards diabetes.

Lung Health

Oral health has an impact on lung infections too.  Since more bacteria is bred in the mouths of patients with periodontal disease, the likelihood of them inhaling germs which could cause lung infections such as pneumonia is pretty high.  For patients who already suffer from lung problems such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), gum disease could exacerbate their condition. 

Pregnancy

Oral health has an effect on pregnancy too.  Studies indicate that pregnant women having progressive gum disease to be highly prone towards delivering a low birth weight baby apart from developing diabetes.  Hence regular dental checkups become a necessity during pregnancy.  Pre-term delivery is another risk encountered due to poor oral hygiene. 

Babies born with low birth weight or are premature have a greater risk of developing complications including behavioral difficulties, birth abnormalities, ear infections, asthma, developmental problems and infant death.

Bruxism

Bruxism is mild in most cases.  However, if it is frequent and worsening, teeth grinding could aggravate temporomandibular joints (TMJs) which are present in the lower jaw.  This could result in tightness or pain around the joint area as well as headaches and ear aches. 

Bruxism can have bad effects on teeth.  The habit could cause chipped or broken teeth, increased tooth sensitivity and wearing of teeth enamel.

All the above points emphasize the importance of oral health for a total well being.  Hence it is very important to maintain better oral hygiene for a more healthy lifestyle.

 

Make an appointment with us today to ensure your oral health is the best it can be.

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