Did you know that oral health is not just about maintaining a bright, beautiful smile—it’s also an essential part of your overall wellness. Numerous studies have found a significant link between oral health and a variety of systemic diseases, underlining the importance of good oral hygiene practices. In this blog post, we will explore the correlation between oral health and systemic diseases, helping you understand why a healthy mouth is integral to a healthy body.
Here are a few examples of how gum disease (periodontitis) can affect some systemic diseases, among others:
Heart Disease: Research has found a strong correlation between periodontal (gum) disease and heart disease. The bacteria associated with gum disease can enter the bloodstream and contribute to the formation of arterial plaque, leading to heart disease. The inflammation caused by periodontal disease can also increase the risk of endocarditis, an infection of the inner lining of the heart.
Diabetes: The relationship between diabetes and oral health is a two-way street. People with diabetes are more susceptible to infections, including gum disease. Conversely, severe periodontal disease can affect blood sugar control, making diabetes harder to manage.
Respiratory Infections: Poor oral health, especially periodontal disease, can lead to respiratory infections. Bacteria from the mouth can be inhaled into the lungs, leading to conditions like pneumonia.
Pregnancy Complications: Pregnant women with gum disease may be at a higher risk of premature birth and low birth weight babies. The theory is that oral bacteria and the inflammation associated with periodontitis might interfere with fetal development.
Given the significant impact oral health has on overall wellness, maintaining a healthy mouth should be a priority. Here are some steps you can take:
1. Brush Twice Daily: Brush your teeth at least twice a day using fluoride toothpaste. 2. Floss Regularly: Flossing daily is essential for removing plaque and food particles that your toothbrush can’t reach. Follow the sequence F.B.I. (check out our blog post for more information).
3. Regular Dental Check-ups: Schedule regular dental check-ups and cleanings.
4. Healthy Lifestyle: Eating a balanced diet, quitting smoking, limiting alcohol, and managing stress can all contribute to better oral and overall health.
Taking care of your oral health is more than just about keeping your teeth and gums healthy—it’s about caring for your overall health too. At Beltline Dental Care, we want to help you achieve the best health possible. If you have any questions about how your oral health relates to your overall wellness, call the office today to schedule an appointment.