Good oral health is much more than merely an attractive smile. Although keeping your mouth in its best condition is already a goal in itself – as it helps prevent tooth decay, bad breath and gum disease – recent studies suggest that there are far more significant reasons to brush and floss daily.
A healthy mouth will not only help prevent dental problems but will also aid in warding off more serious medical conditions. On the flip side, neglecting the wellness of your teeth may only increase your risk for severe health problems including, but not limited to, heart diseases, diabetes and preterm labour.
In a nutshell, the condition of your mouth mirrors your body condition as a whole. So, maintaining an optimal dental health is far more crucial than you might realise. To emphasize the significance of oral hygiene, this article from Classic Smiles, a cosmetic dental clinic in Miranda, helps you understand how your oral health can affect your overall wellness.
The Relationship between Oral and Overall Wellness
As mentioned, the mouth can reflect what’s going on in your body. It often serves as a useful vantage point for detecting early signs of infection, sometimes even before you start noticing other symptoms. It is an aspect of health management often taken for granted but nevertheless, crucial to the overall well-being.
Like the rest of the body, the mouth is swarming with bacteria – and, regular brushing and flossing is the body’s first line of defense to keep it under control. But, without a good dental hygiene, this bacteria can become too overpowering and may lead to problems including tooth decay or even gum disease.
The Health Conditions that May Be Linked to Poor Oral Health
In addition to this, poor oral health may also indicate other serious diseases and conditions including:
1. Gingivitis. Gingivitis is a result of the plaque buildup along the gum line and over time, has accumulated bacteria in between the gums and the teeth. If left unchecked, this gum infection can lead to a more severe gum infection called periodontitis.
NOTE: You will notice that most of the health conditions on this list is caused primarily by periodontitis. It is because among many other diseases, a gum infection is one that allows bacteria to enter the body thus, affects almost any area of the body.
2. Endocarditis. Endocarditis is the inflammation of the heart’s inner lining that may be triggered by the bacteria in the mouth. It happens when the bacteria enters through the infected gums, into the bloodstream and damage the heart.
3. Cardiovascular disease. A research by the Canadian Academy of Periodontology suggest that the bacteria that infects the gums may also increase the risk for heart diseases as it can cause blood clots to form and clog the arteries.
4. Lung Infection. When the bacteria breeding in the mouth is inhaled, it can travel into the lungs and give way to lung infections such as pneumonia. It can also result to the increase of risk for other chronic respiratory conditions like emphysema.
5. Premature Birth. Studies also suggest that pregnant women with progressive periodontitis is at higher risk of preterm delivery than pregnant women with good dental health. They’re also more likely to give birth to a low birth weight baby.
Did You Know? The theory of this connection is that the oral bacteria emits toxins that reach the placenta and then interferes with the development of the fetus. The same toxins also cause the mother to release substances that trigger premature labour and birth.
6. HIV/AIDS. Systemic conditions such as AIDS typically first appear as mouth lesions and other oral problems. In fact, more than 90% of systemic diseases have mucosal lesions as their first symptom.
7. Diabetes. Although it’s known that gum diseases can be severe among diabetes patients, new studies reveal that periodontitis may actually contribute to the condition as it disturbs the blood glucose control.
8. Osteoporosis. There isn’t an established link between periodontitis and bone loss. However, it is possible that the periodontal bacteria breaks down the bone density as much as it damages the jawbones.
9. Alzheimer’s Disease. Researchers from a UK university suggested that people with poor dental hygiene are at heightened risk of developing Alzheimer’s. It is after they’ve identified the presence of bacterium in the brains of dementia patients that is typically associated with periodontal disease.
Other conditions that may also be associated with oral health include rheumatoid arthritis, cancer on the head and neck, eating disorders and Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease that causes dry mouth.
Protect Your Oral Health
Because of these potential risks, maintaining a good oral hygiene is crucial to improving your overall health. Although it may initially seem complicated, focusing on your dental health can actually be as simple as putting emphasis on your dental routine:
Brush teeth at least twice a day
Commit to a healthy lifestyle.
Replace toothbrush at least every three months
Schedule regular dental visit
Contact Classic Smiles Dental
Caring for your oral health is a life-long investment in your overall wellness that can save you time and money in the future. Schedule an appointment with Classic Smiles today to further discover the importance of optimal dental care.
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George Katsoudas is a Digital Marketing Professional. He works as the Managing Director of Low Cost SEO, an SEO & digital marketing firm in Sydney and a Digital Media Manager for Classic Smiles, beautifying winning smiles all over Sydney.
Classic Smiles, headed by Dr William Zafiropoulos, a reputable cosmetic dentist in Sydney offers a range of dental treatments including teeth whitening, invisalign, dental crown and bridge, porcelain and cosmetic veneers, and teeth whitening.