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Good Oral Hygiene And The Connection To Overall Health

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A bright, vibrant smile communicates health and taking care of your mouth, teeth and gums is critical to your overall well being. Establishing good oral care habits can eradicate bad breath, reduce the risk of decay and disease, and set the stage for long-term oral health.

There are additional reasons to take good care of your smile. Studies have recently shown that oral decay and disease have very clear connections to other conditions that manifest in the body. Your mouth is a gateway to the rest of your body, and taking care to keep it clean and free of disease will aid you in maintaining good health.

How Does Oral Health Affect My Whole Body? The unsavory fact that your mouth is teeming with bacteria is not something we want to contemplate, yet we must face the fact that where bacteria exist, there is a chance that disease and infection could develop. Most of these bacteria are harmless and are brushed and flossed right out of the mouth, but if there are any compromised areas of decay, this becomes an open door for additional health problems. Over time, disease and deterioration of the mouth will inevitably spread to other areas of the body, causing infections, chronic inflammation, and other conditions. Keeping infection at bay in the mouth will help you to reduce the risk of other diseases overall.

What Conditions Are Linked To Oral Disease?

Couple Smiling

Chronic inflammation and arthritic conditions--A large number of patients diagnosed with arthritis and chronic inflammatory illnesses have also had various stages of periodontal disease present, which indicates a connection between oral disease and inflammatory conditions throughout the body. Studies done over a six month period by Italian researchers showed that tooth loss occurs with increased joint inflammation. Research participants who were missing permanent teeth had a much higher report of inflammatory issues than participants who were not missing any teeth.

Complications With Pregnancy--Patients affected by periodontal disease and infection are more likely to experience issues in pregnancy, such as prematurity and low birth weight. Complications with labour can also arise due to chronic oral infections, which puts both mother and baby at risk.

Endocarditis--Endocarditis, an infection of the inner lining of the heart, can negatively impact its function. Endocarditis begins when bacteria and infection make their way from other areas of the body to the heart muscle and often progress to a severe condition and can be life-threatening.

Cardiovascular Diseases--Research suggests that inflammation and disease in the mouth can lead to the formation of arterial plaque, heart disease and even stroke. The buildup of plaque and other inflammatory substances in the body is what contributes to cardiovascular degeneration; finding ways to reduce inflammation in the mouth proactively can also positively impact other areas of the body as well.

Overall Body Health Also Impacts Oral Health Other diseases and conditions of the body also negatively impact the health of our mouth, teeth and gums. Diabetes, for instance, reduces the body’s resistance to infection, which can negatively impact our dental health. People with HIV/AIDS tend to develop lesions in the mouth, which can quickly become more significant issues if not proactively treated. Osteoporosis, a condition where the bones become brittle and weak, is directly related to diseases in the mouth that affect the teeth and jawbone. Even certain medications can negatively impact the health of our mouth, and this, in turn, affects our entire body.

Girl Brushing Teeth

Being Proactive About Care Practicing good oral hygiene habits at home and maintaining a consistent visit schedule to your dental professionals is the best way to be proactive about your overall health. Make time to include the following activities in your preventative care routine:

  • Brush and floss your teeth at least twice daily

  • Maintain a healthy diet and reduce or eliminate processed food and sugars

  • Replace your toothbrush regularly to reduce the risk of infection

  • Schedule regular visits to your dental health professionals

The Evidence Is Clear The health of your mouth can affect the rest of your body and vice versa. Taking good care of yourself is easier when you visit Park Street Dental and their talented team of professionals. Park Street Dental is passionate about providing their patients with the tools and services that they need to maintain vibrant health and well being. If health and wellness are important to you, consider making Park Street Dental a partner on your road to healthy living.

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