Did you know that the mouth can show signs of general body infections and nutritional deficiencies? The mouth acts as the mirror through which you can see and analyze the health of your body. A healthy mouth ensures you are confident in how you live, work or play.
Whenever you have tooth decay, dentists may remove it, or they may carry out a root canal treatment. Either way, the aim is to prevent germs from extending to other body parts and leading to health complications. It’s important to note that the connection between your body health and oral health becomes crucial as you age.
Here is how oral health affects your overall health.
Cardiovascular diseases –
Gum inflammation causes stroke and heart diseases. Gum diseases lead to cardiovascular diseases since increased levels of inflammation affect the whole body.
According to Dr. Desvarieux, some amount of bad’ bacteria enter the bloodstream and later lodge inside your blood vessels. This causes your blood vessels to block hence causing atherosclerosis and also increases the risk of other heart-related diseases.
Several studies have revealed that the mouth can be a site for transmitting infectious microbes. Some oral problems, i.e., painful mucosal lesions are a common occurrence to people who have HIV/AIDS. If these infections are not treated, they will infect the whole body thus affecting their healthy mouth and general health.
Research studies have shown that people with increased incidences of gum diseases or periodontitis have a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Whenever the infections in your mouth get worse, they cause low-grade inflammation that affects your entire body.
In turn, this inflammation disrupts your sugar processing-ability. This is because the inflammatory molecules attach to your insulin receptors hence preventing your body’s cells from getting glucose into the cells. Therefore, the cells can no longer use insulin to acquire glucose.
Pregnancy and your baby –
Serious Gum diseases can increase the risks of giving birth to a baby that is underweight as well as premature birth. According to research, oral infections have contributed to 18% of low birth weight and premature births in the United States.
Oral bacteria usually release toxins which enter the placenta via the mother’s bloodstream and then interfere with the development and growth of the fetus. This also causes the mother to release labor inducing substance a bit faster hence leading to premature birth.
Poor diet –
People with a poor diet, especially children, may not have enough nutrients required for a healthy and clean mouth. As such, oral disease set in and these children may suffer from overall health problems, i.e., loss of weight and difficulties in chewing. Such children may require a more modified diet; which might not have proper nutrition.
Reduced self-esteem –
Most children who suffer from severe oral diseases may not smile at times because they are ashamed about how their teeth may appear to others. Tooth loss can also cause them to be embarrassed or have impaired speech.
Low educational performance –
Gum diseases that are accompanied by chronic dental pain may lead to low concentration to children. This can further lead to difficulties in completing homework, and absence from school which general cause low performance in class.
Difficulty sleeping –
Gum inflammation or gingivitis cause pain, bleeding and inflammation. Pain is among the leading reasons why people don’t get a good night sleep. This is because a big gap in your teeth or grinding teeth cause discomfort due to the movements of your mouth while you sleep.
Consult your local dentist for the best solution if are experiencing sleepless nights.
Although several medications can be used to treat gum diseases, it’s important to protect yourself and also prevent these diseases.
Here are ways on how to have a healthy mouth while protecting your oral health and practicing good oral hygiene on a daily basis:
- At least brush your teeth twice a day using fluoride toothpaste.
- Daily flossing
- A healthy diet with limited snacking
- Ensuring you replace your toothbrush every 2-4 months
- Avoid using tobacco
- Regular dental cleaning and checkups
Good oral hygiene directly affects your overall body health and makes your mouth healthy. Do the rest of your body a favor by maintaining good oral hygiene and also visiting your dentist regularly to ensure a healthy mouth and teeth.
About the author:
Dr. Robert A. Love is a Family Dentist in Brighton Michigan who graduated from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry in 1979 and practiced dentistry in Allen Park before establishing his office in Brighton in 1982. Dr. Love comes from a family of dentists. His father was the first in the family to earn a DDS degree, followed by brother Bill and sister April. Dr. Love’s wife is also a dentist.
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