Did you know there’s a direct link between oral health and overall health? It’s true! Your mouth is the gateway to your body. It’s where many health issues begin, especially if you’re not careful about your oral hygiene.
Want to protect your smile, mind, and body? Keep reading to learn about the relationship between oral health and general health.
How Does Dental Health Affect Overall Health?
You might think a dentist visit is just about your teeth, but the truth is it’s about much more. The mouth and throat are connected to other parts of the body, which means problems in the mouth and throat can affect your overall health.
Oral diseases and conditions can also be early signs of more severe health problems. Here are some examples of how your oral health affects general health.
● Bacteria in your mouth can enter the bloodstream through cuts or sores on your gums, tongue, or lips. When this happens, the bacteria can spread to other parts of the body and cause an infection. If you have a weakened immune system or other medical conditions, this could be fatal.
● Oral bacteria can cause inflammation of the artery walls, which can lead to heart disease, stroke, or diabetes. Gum disease may also lead to an increased risk of diabetes because bacteria from gum pockets can enter the bloodstream through cuts or sores on gums or lips and cause inflammation throughout the body.
● Oral health can even impact pregnancy. Hormonal changes cause a shift in the balance between the body’s immune system and its inflammatory response. For many women, this can cause bleeding gums or gingivitis. Pregnant women who have gum disease are more likely to experience premature birth or miscarriage than those without gum disease, according to research published in The Journal of Periodontology.
It’s Time to Take Care of Your Oral Health for Overall Health
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Oral Health and Overall Health: 3 Important Links
The link between oral health and overall health impacts every part of your body, from your gut to your heart and even your brain. Here are three critical connections between oral health and systemic health.
1. The oral health and gut health connection – Your mouth is one of the first places bacteria can enter your body, so it can affect the rest of your gastrointestinal tract. Some forms of oral bacteria can cause inflammation in the gut lining, which could lead to digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). There’s even an emerging theory that certain types of periodontal disease may contribute to Crohn’s disease.
2. Oral hygiene and heart health – If you have gum disease, it’s not just your gums at risk — you may also put your heart in danger. The bacteria in plaque may cause inflammation in the body and lead to cardiovascular disease. Poor oral hygiene can also increase your risk of stroke by potentially increasing blood pressure and triglyceride levels.
3. The relationship between dental health and mental health – According to The National Institute of Health, people with untreated depression are six times more likely to visit the dentist than those who are not depressed. The link between dental problems and mental health issues is so strong that some countries have begun offering free dental care to people with mental illnesses.
Take the First Step Toward Better Dental Health and Overall Health
The relationship between oral health and general health is undeniable. If you’re ready to protect your smile and body, Dr. Shah and his compassionate team are here to provide the expert care and regular dental cleanings you need to stay healthy.
Whether you’re new to Greensboro or have been avoiding a dental visit for years, you can expect to feel comfortable and enjoy your appointment at Pleasant Dental. Yes, really.
It’s time to take control of your oral health and overall health…
Call (336) 933-1241. TODAY to schedule your appointment!