Can a Healthy Mouth Affect Your Overall Health?
Do you like the look of shiny white teeth? You should, because the beauty goes beyond aesthetics.
Oral health spans beyond having fresh breath and a lovely smile. It can also help you in finding out about what ails your body. When you encounter an oral condition, it may also hint to something bigger happening inside your body.
How significant is oral health? We will look and explore this connection as we look at oral health. Let’s discover how a healthy mouth can lead to a healthier body from the inside and out.
Oral Health and You
A healthy mouth does wonders when you look at your overall health. Like the rest of the body, taking care of it helps in protecting you from diseases. Neglecting it can lead to all sorts of problems, with the whole body suffering from the effects.
The mouth is the body’s entry point to two other systems: the digestive and respiratory tracts. As with various parts of the body, it also houses a lot of bacteria. However, most of these tend to be harmless bacteria.
Due to being an entry point for both food and air, some of the harmful bacteria can enter the body and cause diseases.
Conditions Linked to Oral Health
Lapses in oral health can contribute to various conditions and diseases when left unchecked. Here are ways that oral health affects these conditions and vice versa.
While not fully understood, oral bacteria have a way of affecting cardiovascular diseases. In this case, heart disease, clogged arteries, and stroke have links to the inflammation and infections caused by oral bacteria.
This infection affects the inner lining of your heart’s valves. This happens when bad bacteria makes its way into your bloodstream and attaches to certain areas in your heart.
The sources for this bacteria can come another part of your body, such as your mouth.
When certain bacteria in your mouth reach into your lungs, it may result in respiratory disease. One potential health issue is pneumonia.
Oral health also affects pregnancy and birth. In this case, periodontitis has links to premature birth and low birth weight. However, these are only hints until further studies can verify a true correlation.
The next set of conditions have ways of affecting oral health. Diabetes puts your gums at risk due to how it reduces the body’s infection resistance. In this case, gum disease becomes frequent and severe for people with diabetes.
By practicing regular oral care, you can improve diabetes control.
This is another condition that also shows oral symptoms. Among these include gum disease, tooth decay, and dry mouth.
This disease has links to both tooth loss and bone loss. Certain medications to treat this disease carry a small risk of damage to the jaw bones.
For this disease, worsening oral health stands out as the condition progresses. This may be due to the fact that the patient no longer remembers to care for their oral hygiene.
Looking into Saliva
One of the key components to maintaining oral health is in saliva. It stands out as a protective component and as a diagnostic tool for doctors to see what is going on with your body.
In this case, testing the saliva leads to the detection of substances. It can also help in detecting early signs of diseases.
Among the diseases that the doctors detect by checking the saliva include hepatitis and HIV.
Not only that, but saliva also works as one of the body’s defense systems. It has antibodies that combat viral pathogens, as well as proteins that inhibit the growth of the Candida albicans.
Also, the mouth has the means to protect you from disease-causing bacteria. It achieves this feat through enzymes contained in the saliva.
Yet another problem plagues the mouth when left unchecked. This comes in the form of plaque.
This sticky, colorless film comprised of a lot of bacteria clings to your teeth. When it accumulates it leads to various problems.
Gum Disease and Oral Conditions
Neglecting oral health can lead to a variety of problems. One of the conditions that you would encounter is gum disease. This comes in two types: gingivitis and periodontitis.
Gingivitis pertains to the swelling of the gums caused by plaque buildup. It also causes bleeding during tooth brushing. At this stage, you can still prevent it as the teeth remain planted on the sockets.
If left untreated, gingivitis could lead to something worse. This is when it advances to periodontitis. This is the point when the gums and bone pull away from the teeth and form pockets.
Here, debris accumulates and attract bacteria. Which may cause tooth loss at its advanced stages.
Other oral conditions you may also encounter include bad breath, or halitosis. Aside from the obvious causes like poor oral hygiene and tobacco use, it also points at gastrointestinal conditions as the likely cause for bad breath. One example would be chronic stomach acid reflux.
Bolstering Your Oral Health
As with every part of the body, you need to bolster your oral health. The observance of proper hygiene helps you accomplish this.
Regular tooth brushing and flossing stand out in keeping your mouth healthy. Make sure that you also use mouthwash to rinse off. This flushes away food particles left behind after brushing and flossing.
Aside from these, make sure to change your toothbrush every three months. A healthy diet with a limit to food with added sugars also ensures your teeth stay healthy without the risk of cavities. Avoid tobacco as well.
Whenever possible, always have a dental checkup and general cleaning. You can also check out this unique service.
A Healthy Mouth Means a Healthy Body
Having a healthy mouth is a sign of good health. It shows how much you take care of yourself through proper hygiene and a balanced diet. As some of the oral conditions hint at something happening to the body, make sure to also get yourself checked by a doctor or a dentist.
Did you find this article useful? We also have more articles on tackling various topics. Feel free to browse and read them here today.