The Connection Between Oral Health And Optimal Health

There may be more to good oral health than white teeth, fresh breath, and less trips to the dentist. In fact, good oral health may contribute to optimal health, and in some cases the condition of your teeth and gums may be warning you of a health condition.

You may not want to see the dentist all that often, but ensuring your oral health is a top priority is vital. Even if you think your brushing routine is flawless, there are a variety of health reasons to make a few dentist appointments annually.

“We recommend at least coming in every six months to have your teeth cleaned and examined,” Woodhaven, MI dentists noted. “Professional teeth cleaning removes plaque and tartar buildup that daily brushing does not cover.”

Let’s take a deeper look into how your oral health is a window into your overall health and wellness.

The Saliva and Medication Connection

If you take medication for a health issue, you may need to make oral health more of a priority than others. Did you know that the saliva you produce actually helps keep your teeth and gums healthy?

The mouth contains a lot of bacteria. This bacteria, if not washed and cleaned away can cause chronic diseases and infections. So what does this have to do with medication? The medication you may be taking could be decreasing the amount of saliva you are producing.

This lack of saliva can cause food and bacteria in your mouth to stick around for awhile, and lead to more mouth, teeth, and gum infections. Not good. If you are on medication that can cause less saliva, it’s best to brush more and also discuss the issue with your dentist.

Poor Oral Health Connected to Heart Disease

Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Second is Cancer. Heart disease causes nearly 650,000 deaths per year, and poor oral health may put you at higher risk for the disease.

The cause of heart disease, whether direct and indirect when it comes to oral health is a pretty clear call to action to make dental hygiene a bigger part of your overall health. But heart disease is not the only potential connection between oral health and optimal health.

Periodontitis, or gum disease, is another health issue that has been associated to poor oral health. This disease in pregnancy can potentially cause premature birth and newborns to be born underweight.

Your Oral Health May Be Warning You of Serious Health Problems

One of the most important things to remember when thinking about oral health and overall optimal health is that oral health can show warning signs of serious chronic diseases.

For instance, mouth, teeth, and gum issues can be warning signs of diabetes and HIV. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases explained that, “Gum disease can be more severe and take longer to heal if you have diabetes. In turn, having gum disease can make your blood glucose hard to control.”

In the case of HIV, your mouth may be the first place that is affected. This is due to the amount of bacteria built up in the mouth regularly, but with a weaker immune system, problems can arise faster and for longer periods of time.

Thrush, mouth ulcers, red band gingivitis, ulcerative periodontitis, Karposi’s Sarcoma, and other issues are associated with HIV and oral health. This can cause someone to not eat, since it can be so painful.

Making Oral Health a Priority

It is important to not ignore your oral health, and if you are having pain or discomfort in your mouth, it is essential to talk to a dentist. To combat many of these oral health issues and make dental hygiene part of your optimal health plan, there are a few guidelines to follow:

 

  • Brush at the least twice a day, especially right when you wake up and after eating
  • Make flossing part of your morning and evening dental hygiene plan
  • Buy a new toothbrush every two months
  • Quit smoking and using tobacco products if this is a habit
  • Try to eat more veggies for better overall health
  • See a dentist often to get exams and teeth cleaning

In Conclusion . . .

Listen to what your body is telling you to ensure you maintain optimal health, whether it is a sore tooth or achy knee. Your overall health is important and employing a healthy routine is the best way to have a long healthy and happy life. Are you taking your oral health seriously?

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