Most of us take oral hygiene lightly. This is because we do not understand the impact it has on our overall health. Did you know that your oral health can affect your general well-being?
In this article, we will talk about oral health and its impact on our general well-being so that you can start prioritizing dental care.
What Is the Link Between Our Oral Health and Overall Health?
All the areas in our body are filled with multiple types of bacteria, most of which are entirely harmless, and your mouth is no exception. However, your mouth is a special part of your body, as it serves as the opening to your digestive and respiratory tracts. Unfortunately, some of the bacteria found in your mouth can be dangerous and can expose you to different diseases.
The good news is that by brushing and flossing your teeth regularly and by maintaining good oral hygiene, you can eliminate the harmful bacteria in your mouth, thus keeping yourself safe and healthy. However, if you fail to do so, the bacteria in your mouth can grow, which can lead to multiple infections, tooth decay as well as gum problems.
Furthermore, some people are dependent on painkillers and antidepressants. These medicines may be helpful, but they tend to impede the flow of saliva. Saliva is necessary for two reasons. First of all, it washes away your food, and secondly, it tends to neutralize the acids bacteria produce within your mouth. As a result, saliva protects you against the harmful microbes present within your mouth. The bad thing about these microbes is that with time, they tend to multiply. To maintain the flow of saliva, make sure not to take painkillers and antidepressants without the doctor’s prescription.
You may not know this, but the inflammation caused by gum diseases and related bacteria can lead to different diseases. Furthermore, diseases like diabetes, HIV, and Hepatitis can weaken your immune system, resulting in a drop in your body’s resistance to infections. Therefore, oral health problems can become even more severe.
Conditions Caused by Oral Health
By now, you must have understood the importance of oral health and its impact on general well-being. Now, let’s move forward and talk about some of the health conditions related to oral health.
One of the many reasons to maintain your oral hygiene is that the bacteria from your mouth can end up in your lungs. These bacteria can lead to pneumonia as well as a variety of respiratory issues.
Poor oral health can cause periodontitis. In women, this condition can lead to birth and pregnancy issues. Because of periodontitis, the baby may be underweight or premature.
The impact of oral hygiene on cardiovascular health isn’t conclusive. However, some experts say that oral health can cause several cardiovascular issues, including stroke and heart attacks. For cardiovascular issues, the inflammation caused by oral bacteria is often blamed.
Sometimes, the bacteria in your mouth tend to travel into your bloodstream. When that happens, these bacteria make their way to your heart. As a result, an infection takes place in the inner lining of the chambers of your heart as well as its valves. Such an infection is commonly known as Endocarditis.
Health Conditions That Affect Your Oral Health
Let’s discuss some other health conditions that Affect Your Oral Health.
Most elderly individuals suffer from a condition known as Osteoporosis. This condition weakens your bones, which can be quite painful. Just like most health conditions, Osteoporosis is also linked to your oral health. It results in the weakening and decay of the periodontal bone or the teeth. The drugs that are given to a person to treat Osteoporosis can damage your jaw bone as well as the teeth.
AIDS and HIV
People who have HIV and AIDS tend to suffer from several oral problems as well. One such problem, in particular, is Mucosal Lesions.
As discussed earlier, diabetes harms your immune system, and therefore, it fails to fight against infections and diseases. One of the many things that get affected is your gums. This is why people who have diabetes have poor gum health. Also, people who have bad gum health tend to have a hard time controlling their blood sugar levels. By looking after your oral health, you can control your diabetes in a significant way.
Poor oral health is also linked to Alzheimer’s disease. However, there is no substantial evidence to prove whether Alzheimer’s causes poor oral health or poor oral health leads to Alzheimer’s.
There are some other conditions related to bad oral health. Some of the conditions include eating disorders, weak immunity, dry mouth syndrome, and even different types of cancer.
The moment you meet your dentist, tell them about the medicines you take and the state of your health. Also, let them know if you have been ill recently. Do not forget to inform your dentist if you are suffering from a chronic condition like diabetes.
Ways to Protect Your Oral Health
Here are some of the simplest ways to protect your oral health.
- Use a soft-bristled brush and brush your teeth twice a day.
- Use the toothpaste that contains fluoride.
- Do not forget to use dental floss.
- After brushing or flossing, gargle with a mouthwash.
- Make sure the toothbrush is replaced after every few months, especially if the bristles are worn.
- Eat a balanced diet, and make sure not to eat too much sugar.
- Give up smoking if you do.
Now that you know how oral health impacts your general well being, make sure you brush your teeth and floss them regularly. If you experience oral health issues, make sure to contact the dentist right away. This way, you will be protecting yourself from other major diseases!