You may have never even imagined that there can be a connection between oral and general health. However, the fact is that oral health does have an impact, and a huge one, on your overall health. If you take good care of your teeth, not only will your smile look beautiful but you will be improving the health of your entire body.
The Link between Oral Health and Overall Health
You perhaps know that there are a lot many bacteria present in your mouth. This is pretty normal and there is nothing to worry about it. If you brush and floss properly every day the bacteria levels will stay under control. However, if you do not take good care then it can spell trouble.
The bacteria present in your mouth will keep on multiplying and combine with sugar (present in the food you eat) to create acids. These acids will attack your teeth resulting in gum disease, cavities, periodontitis, and tooth decay. Such tooth problems can then spread to the other parts of your body.
Let us now get to learn about some problems that bad oral health can pave the way to.
Strokes and Heart Attacks
If you do not floss and brush on a daily basis then plaque is likely to build upon your teeth. You may have never even imagined in the wildest of your dreams but this can increase the chances of a stroke or heart attack.
It is not only cholesterol that blocks arteries. The American Heart Foundation has discovered that the bacteria found in oral plaque may lead to blocked arteries. As plaque moves into the bloodstream it can get stuck in an artery of your heart. This can then cause a stroke or heart attack.
If you already are suffering from diabetes then gum issues can further complicate it. Periodontitis is a gum issue wherein the gums get so inflamed that they begin pulling away from the teeth, resulting in gaps. These gaps can get infected really fast.
For those suffering from diabetes, periodontitis will make it hard for your body to absorb insulin medications properly. Also, if your blood sugar levels always remain high then this will make your oral infections worse, resulting in more inflammation. So, if you are a diabetic remember to take extra care of your dental health.
When lots of bacteria start building up in your mouth, they attack your gums and teeth and may result in gingivitis. Gingivitis makes your gums bleed. And once this happens, bacteria will enter your bloodstream and can then reach the other parts of your body. If these bacteria reach your heart it can cause a condition known as endocarditis.
Air moves through your mouth into your lungs. In case there are too many bad bacteria present in your mouth, these bacteria will easily move into your lungs and result in pneumonia or many other types of respiratory issues.
Particularly, the elderly should take very good care of their dental health, as an issue like pneumonia can even be life-threatening in their case.
Can Impact Pregnancy
Pregnant women follow all the advice they are given, avoid some types of food, have prenatal vitamins, and visit doctors on a regular basis. But, one thing that most of them do not know is that bad oral health can have an effect on their pregnancy and also on their unborn child. Not only should a pregnant woman visit her gynecologist on a regular basis but also a dentist.
As the hormones change during pregnancy it can make the existing dental issues worse. You would be alarmed to learn that if you suffer from periodontitis then it increases the chances of premature birth or low birth weight. It is thus very important for you to take the best care of your teeth during pregnancy.
To Conclude –
Now that you understand the connection between your oral and overall health it is crucial to take the best care of your teeth always.
Also remember, just like regular visits to a doctor is important to avoid any health problems, similarly, to prevent dental issues, regular visits to a dentist are a must. Even if you brush and floss regularly and have perfect looking teeth it still will be wise to visit a dentist as even if there is any minor problem it can be detected on time and cured before it grows and creates trouble.