Is there a Link Between Oral Health and Health in the Rest of the Body?
Though the results are still preliminary, there are multiple studies that suggest that the health of your mouth could affect the health in other parts of your body. That is why Stiles Dental Care is dedicated to your total health — keeping you healthy and happy through taking care of your oral health needs.
How Can Oral Health Affect Overall Health?
More and more studies are signaling that poor health in your mouth can lead to health issues in other parts of your body. That is because your mouth marks the entry point to your digestive and respiratory systems. When bad bacteria is present in your mouth, like in the case of gum disease, it can travel to other parts of your body, too. Some conditions that might be linked to oral health include cardiovascular disease, pneumonia, and birth complications.
How Can Certain Conditions Affect Oral Health?
Just like some studies are showing that oral health may affect your health in other parts of your body, there are some illnesses and conditions that can affect oral health. Diabetes puts the health of your gums in the crosshairs since it reduces your body’s ability to combat infections. HIV and AIDS can cause painful sores in your mouth. Osteoporosis can cause jaw bone loss and tooth loss. And as Alzheimer’s disease progresses, oral health worsens.
Additionally, there are some medications that can affect your oral health. Medicines like allergy and cold treatments, painkillers, and antidepressants can lessen the production of saliva. Saliva is an important tool that your mouth uses to protect from bad bacteria, neutralize acids produced by bacteria that live in the mouth, and wash away food particles.
How Should Oral Health Be Protected?
The most essential thing you can do to protect your oral health — and your overall health — is to practice good oral hygiene at home by brushing your teeth at least twice every day, particularly after eating. If you cannot brush your teeth after certain meals, such as lunch, try rinsing with a mouthwash or even simply water. Regular flossing is also key to establishing healthy oral hygiene habits.
You can also protect the health of your mouth by embracing healthy eating habits. Try to limit eating and drinking food with added sugars. Sodas and juices are frequent culprits that should be moderated — or eliminated completely from your diet. You should also avoid using all forms of tobacco, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and chewing tobacco. All of these forms of tobacco can affect the health of your mouth, even leading to oral cancer.
Though you are your own greatest asset when it comes to maintaining the health of your mouth, it is also important to attend appointments at your dentist’s office every six months. Your dentist can clean your mouth more thoroughly than you can at home, clearing away plaque and tartar as well as identifying any early signs and symptoms of more serious health concerns.
Schedule your regular checkup with Stiles Dental Care today by calling 609-654-0033.