Your oral health is more critical than you might imagine. In fact, your oral health – the health of your teeth and gums – has a significant effect on your treatment costs and quality of life. A saliva swab will tell your doctor volumes about what’s happening inside the body.
The Link Between Oral Health and Overall Health
Our bodies are a holistic system and each part affects each other. Your mouth is a germ breeding-ground and most are harmless. These will usually be kept in line with proper oral hygiene, including regular brushing and flossing.
Still, however, oral infections such as tooth decay and gingivitis/periodontitis (gum disease) may occur without good oral hygiene – so if the bacteria from these diseases spread across into the rest of your body, your physical health could be compromised.
Oral Health as a Leading Health Indicator
Evidence is mounting that links oral health with many chronic diseases including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Also, poor oral health has been linked with low birth weight and premature births in pregnant women.
According to Healthy People 2020, oral health is one of the ten leading indicators of health.
Proper oral hygiene not only helps you to function well as a human being but it is also vital for communication, financial stability, and interpersonal relationships. On the other hand, poor dental hygiene has severe consequences including debilitating, impaired and expensive health problems.
9 Health Conditions that can be Linked to Bad Oral Health
Not only can you prevent holes in your teeth while practising proper oral hygiene, but experts at Bergen University have also found a strong link between the gum disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
2. Respiratory Infections
Because of poor oral health, the respiratory system can fail. Bacteria may be ingested into the lungs through the mouth through infected teeth and swollen gums or pass into the bloodstream from there. The bacteria can contribute to respiratory infections, acute bronchitis, and pneumonia while left to spread and grow in the mouth.
3. Kidney Disease
Patients with chronic kidney disease tend to experience dental issues and changes leading to oral cavities, and gum disease problems such as periodontitis. These may contribute to increased morbidity and mortality due to systemic consequences such as inflammation and infections.
4. Cardiovascular Disease
Gum disease (periodontitis) increases the risk of developing heart disease. Poor dental health in the bloodstream increases the risk of bacterial infection which can affect the heart valves.
5. Pregnancy Complications
Bacteria can be transmitted to an unborn child via the blood and amniotic fluid from a mother’s mouth which may lead to the likelihood of premature delivery, a baby of low birth weight, early onset of contractions, or newborn infection.
Several studies show that men with poor oral health – whether from periodontal disease or untreated cavities – are more likely to suffer male factor infertility, especially when compared to men with normal sperm.
It has been concluded that poor oral hygiene is a risk factor for mouth cancer due to infrequent toothbrushing and sores caused by dentures.
8. Erectile Dysfunction
Men that have periodontitis, a condition characterised by swelling of the gums and damage to the tissues underlying and protecting the teeth, are at greater risk of developing erectile dysfunction.
Gum disease can lead to higher levels of blood sugar and a person with poor oral health is at elevated risk of developing diabetes.
The Aesthetic Connection
As humans, we put great emphasis on protection and appearance of the teeth. For this reason, treatments such as porcelain veneers are now common amongst public figures.
If you feel insecure about your teeth to the extent where you are scared of laughing, that will have a major impact on all the social circumstances in which you are going to be involved. And, if that is the situation, it is strongly recommended that you consider cosmetic dentistry such as dental implants at NSOMS.
This is especially an excellent choice for people who have experienced significant teeth loss or want to restore their youthful smile.
Here’s How you can Protect Your Oral Health
You or your family should take better care of your oral health. You should instantly begin making improvements by enhancing your everyday oral hygiene routine. Dentists urge you to:
· Clean your teeth at least twice a day, use toothpaste with fluoride and cleaning for two minutes.
· Floss between the teeth once a day to disinfect.
· Stop smoking and high consumption of alcohol.
· Drink water all day long, particularly fluoride-containing tap water.
· Seek to cut back on food and drink that is fatty, starchy and acidic.
· See the dentist regularly for check-ups.
When it comes to healthcare, a lot of people place oral treatment at the bottom of the list. Many still don’t realise the degree our oral health can affect other areas of our body and our overall well-being. Yet our bodies work holistically, and bad oral health leads to poor overall health just as bad overall health can be mirrored in our teeth’s condition.
If you haven’t read enough reasons to take careful care of your mouth, teeth and gums for their own sake already, the relationship between your oral health and your general health offers much more. Decide now to start maintaining proper oral hygiene every day. You’ll be investing in your general wellbeing and your future.