While it’s important to take care of your teeth for your oral health, it’s also imperative for your overall health because a healthy mouth is vital to a healthy body.
How Does My Oral Health Affect the Rest of My Body?
Your mouth is the gateway to the rest of your body so it’s vital that you put up your best defense by maintaining great oral health. Because your mouth is filled with bacteria, it’s necessary to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. Without good dental hygiene habits, the bacteria in your mouth can run rampant and lead to serious oral conditions such as tooth decay and gum disease. In and of themselves, these infections are bad, but they can also lead to more serious health conditions if left untreated.
What Health Conditions Are Associated with Poor Oral Health?
- Perhaps the most serious health condition that can be caused by poor oral health is cardiovascular disease. Research shows that bacteria from gingivitis and inflamed gums can move through your bloodstream, making its way to your heart’s arteries. When bacteria gets into your arteries, it can cause them to harden and lead to plaque formed on their inner walls. This blocks or at least decreases blood flow throughout the body, causing an increased risk of heart attack or stroke. This could also cause endocarditis, a condition in which the inner lining of the heart becomes inflamed and infected.
- Bacteria from gingivitis can also cause dementia and Alzheimer’s, which can develop when it enters the brain through nerve channels or the bloodstream.
- When that bacteria is breathed in over a long period of time, you could contract pneumonia.
- Poor oral health can worsen symptoms of diabetes when inflamed gum tissue and gingivitis make it difficult for your body to control its blood sugar.
So How Can I Protect My Oral Health?
Practice good oral health care! These steps can help safeguard your body from potentially serious health conditions:
- Brush your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes each
- Floss at least once a day
- Rinse your mouth regularly with water
- Eat a healthy diet
- Come see us every 6 months for a professional checkup and cleaning
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