What's The Connection Between Oral and Overall Health?

What's The Connection Between Oral and Overall Health?

Apr 01, 2023

You brush and floss daily to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth clean and disease-free. But did you know that good oral hygiene and health are essential for overall well-being? A problem in your mouth can affect your other body parts and vice versa. Keep reading to learn more about how the health of your mouth, teeth, and gums can affect your general health.

The Relationship between Your Oral Health and Overall Health

Just because you see a dentist instead of a doctor for oral care doesn’t mean that your mouth is separate from the rest of your body. It’s simply an extension of your body and an entry to several body parts, like the digestive and respiratory systems. Your oral health can affect your overall health in several ways.

Let’s begin with the fact that millions of oral bacteria exist in your mouth naturally. In low levels, these bacteria are harmless. Brushing and flossing regularly and proper hydration help keep these bacteria under control.

However, these bacteria overgrow and multiply rapidly, releasing harmful toxins that irritate and inflame your gum tissues and cause infections. The toxins also break down the enamel, making your teeth more vulnerable to fracture and decay.

Besides poor dental hygiene, a diet high in sugars and starch can encourage bacterial buildup in the mouth (bacteria feed on the sugars and starches you eat). Similarly, conditions like diabetes and medications like decongestants can cause a dry mouth, encouraging bacteria to thrive.

Nutrition is another major way that your mouth can affect your overall health. Untreated oral issues like tooth caries and gum disease can cause significant discomfort and affect your bite, making it harder to eat tough nutrient-rich foods like apples, nuts, and certain vegetables. It can lead to poor nutrition, which negatively affects your overall health. Visit our dentist in Beverly, MA, for treatment for oral problems.

Health Conditions Linked to Oral Health

Poor oral health can contribute to various health diseases and conditions, including:

Endocarditis :

It’s a serious infection that occurs in the inner lining of the heart chamber or valves. Endocarditis can happen when infectious oral bacteria from your mouth spreads through the bloodstream and buildup up in certain areas in your heart.

Cardiovascular disease :

Several studies suggest that periodontal bacteria can cause infections, inflammation, and blockages in the heart and blood vessels. It can lead to clogged arteries, coronary artery disease, heart attacks, strokes, and even death.

Pregnancy complications :

Studies have linked advanced gum disease or periodontitis to pregnancy problems like low birth weight, miscarriages, and premature births.

Respiratory problems :

Certain oral bacteria can enter the lungs through the airway, infecting the lungs and leading to respiratory diseases such as pneumonia.

Memory loss :

Your oral health and mental health are also connected. Severe tooth decay can expose the blood vessels and nerves near the tooth’s root and cause infectious bacteria to spread to the brain. It can lead to brain infections and other complications like memory loss.

Oral health and longevity :

Oral problems can lead to serious and life-threatening conditions like heart attack, strokes, and pneumonia. Good oral health can improve your lifespan.

It’s worth noting that certain health conditions can affect your overall health, including:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • HIV/AIDs
  • Osteoporosis
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Eating disorders
  • Certain cancers
  • Immune system disorders like Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Certain cancers

Tips to Maintain Proper Oral Hygiene and Health

Use the following tips to promote optimal oral and overall health:

  • Brush your teeth twice daily for at least two minutes at a time. Use a soft brush and fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss daily.
  • Rinse your mouth with mouthwash after meals.
  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet. Limit foods and drinks high in sugars and acids.
  • Avoid tobacco and alcohol abuse.
  • Schedule routine dental checkups and cleanings.

Learn More about the Connection between Oral and Overall Health

For more information about your oral and overall health, contact Beverly Dental Group to book a dentist appointment with our best Beverly dentist near you.

Out dental office in Beverly, MA also welcomes patients from the below nearby areas:

  • Wenham
  • Danvers
  • Salem
  • Peabody
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