Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Link Between Oral Health and Overall Health

If the eyes are the windows to our soul, then our mouths are the portals to our physical well-being. Are you aware that your oral health can impact the rest of your body? There is a very intimate connection between what goes on in your mouth and its “trickle-down” effect.

In addition to killing germs and keeping plaque, tartar, bad breath, and bacteria at bay, proper dental care impacts other bodily systems as well. Of course brushing and flossing help keep the teeth and gums healthy, however, such positive practices also boost your overall health. For example, the oral bacteria and inflammation that accompany gum diseases, such as periodontitis, may spread into the circulatory system. There are also diseases that can put a patient’s oral health in jeopardy, such as Diabetes and HIV. Here is a look at a few conditions where oral health can both be impacted or play a significant role:

Patients have a reduced resistance to fight infection, which puts them at risk for gum disease. In fact, gum disease appears to be more frequent and severe among people with diabetes. The research also shows that individuals with gum disease have a harder time controlling their blood sugar levels.

Unfortunately it is quite common for these patients to have oral problems, such as painful mucosal lesions.

This condition causes bones to become weak and brittle and may contribute to periodontal bone loss and tooth loss.

Alzheimer's disease
It has been revealed that tooth loss before age 35 could be a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease.

An infection of the inner lining of the heart, Endocarditis usually occurs when bacteria or other germs from another part of the body, such as the mouth, spread throughout the bloodstream and attach to damaged areas around the heart.

Cardiovascular disease
Some research suggests that heart disease; clogged arteries and stroke might be linked to the inflammation and infections that oral bacteria can cause.

Pregnancy and birth
Did you know that Periodontitis has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight?

These are more good reasons that you should protect your oral health every day by:

  • Brushing your teeth at least twice a day and preferably after every meal
  • Flossing daily
  • Eating a healthy diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Making water your beverage of choice
  • Using a soft bristle toothbrush, Fluoride toothpaste and replacing your toothbrush every 3 months
  • Scheduling regular visits to the dentist (Call 919-782-0548 to schedule!)

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