How Your Oral Health Impacts On Your Overall Health

oral health

Fact: Do you know that your oral health offers a clue about your overall wellness?

Fact: Dental problems can affect the rest of your body

These facts clearly show that there is a synergic relationship between your oral health and overall health. Most people are not aware of this. There is more to taking care of your teeth than maintaining good hygiene and having a beautiful smile. Neglecting your teeth could lead to serious health problems in future other than dental problems. 

What is The Connection Between Oral Health and General Health?

The mouth is full of bacteria and not all are harmful. However, since the mouth is the entry point to the respiratory and digestive tracts, some of the harmful bacteria can find its way into the body, causing infections to other parts of the body. Brushing your teeth and flossing regularly helps to keep the levels of bacteria under control. If one neglects their oral hygiene, the bacteria multiples and combines with sugar to make acids, causing periodontitis, tooth decay, gum disease and cavities. Eventually, these conditions can lead to infections which can affect the rest of the body. Health problems associated with oral health include:

  • Pneumonia

Normally, air flows through the mouth into the lungs. If there is a large amount of unhealthy bacteria in the mouth, some of it can find its way into the respiratory tract and down into the lungs, causing pneumonia. Elderly people are particularly advised to take good care of their dentures and oral health to avoid such infections since pneumonia can be life-threatening at such an age.

  • Diabetes

Periodontitis, a type of gum disease, causes gums to be inflamed and causes them to start pulling away from the teeth, forming gaps. This gum disease can complicate diabetes since the gaps can quickly become infected. If you have diabetes and get periodontitis, the body is unable to absorb insulin medication properly, lowering the blood sugar levels. When blood sugar falls, infection in the mouth exacerbates, causing more inflammation. It is vital for a diabetic person to maintain good oral health.

  • Endocarditis

This is a heart disease. When a person does not clean their mouth regularly, colonies of bacteria build up and can cause gingivitis. This disease causes the gums to bleed and become exposed to bacteria. The colony gets absorbed into the bloodstream and travels to the heart and can cause an infection to the valves and inner lining in the heart.

  • Strokes and Heart Attacks

Not brushing and flossing your teeth on a daily basis can cause plaque buildup. According to research, cholesterol is not the only thing that can block heart arteries. The study showed that oral plaque contains bacteria that can contribute to blocked arteries. Blocked arteries leads to stroke or heart attack.

  • Dental Problems Can Affect Pregnancy

Poor dental health can affect unborn babies. How? A pregnant woman produces more hormones and in turn this can worsen any existing dental problems. Evidence shows that dental conditions like periodontitis can cause premature delivery or babies being born with low birth weight. It is vital for a pregnant mother to practice good dental health and ensure they visit a certified dentist regularly during the pregnancy period to protect themselves and their unborn baby.

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