Your mouth acts as a window into what's going on in other parts of your body. Therefore, maintaining good oral health is very important for your overall health. When bacteria build up in the mouth, your gums can be at risk of infection. Good oral health care such as daily flossing, brushing, etc., and the body's immune system work together to keep bacteria in your mouth under control.
How is your oral health connected with your overall health?
If your oral health is compromised, you are at a high risk of developing gum disease, which increases chances of other serious health problems such as stroke, heart attack, preterm labor, and diabetes. In fact, according to the Academy of General Dentistry, over 90% of all systemic diseases show oral symptoms. For example, systemic conditions like diabetes or AIDS, often show up as mouth lesions or other oral problems.
Poor oral health and related diseases
Poor oral health might cause various diseases, including:
- Endocarditis-Endocarditis is a condition that causes infection in the endocardium (a smooth membrane which forms the surface of the heart valves and lines the inside of the heart chambers). It occurs when bacteria from another part of your body, such as your mouth, spread through your blood and latch to the endocardium.
- Cardiovascular disease-Although the relation between oral health and cardiovascular disease is not fully established, certain studies suggest that clogged arteries, heart disease, and stroke might be connected with the infections and inflammation due to oral bacteria.
- Pneumonia-Bacteria in your mouth can spread to your lungs, causing respiratory diseases such as pneumonia.
- Pregnancy and birth difficulties-Periodontitis has also been connected with low birth weight and premature birth.
Some conditions which may affect your oral health include:
- Diabetes-Diabetes reduces the body's resistance to infection therefore, gum disease is more frequent with diabetic patients.
- HIV/AIDS -People diagnosed with HIV are prone to oral health problems such as excruciating mucosal lesions.
- Osteoporosis This disease is linked to tooth loss and periodontal bone loss.
- Alzheimer's disease -The oral health of people suffering from Alzheimer's disease worsens as the disease progresses.
Proper oral hygiene tips
Here are some useful oral hygiene tips.
- Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush.
- Replace your toothbrush at least once every three months. Replace them sooner if bristles are worn.
- Floss daily.
- Use a fluoride toothpaste.
- After brushing and flossing, use a mouthwash to remove any food particles left.
- Eat a balanced and healthy diet.
- Limit foods with added sugars.
- Avoid tobacco usage.
- Schedule regular dental checkups.
If you have an oral health problem, call us at (515) 276-0202 to schedule an appointment with our dentists at Smile on Hickman. Our friendly, experienced dentists can diagnose any oral issues before they become a bigger problem.
Related article: Everything You Should Know About Your Oral Health