Why Is Your Oral Health Important
Good oral health is important to maintain the longevity of your beautiful smile. If oral hygiene is not followed correctly, it can damage your smile and body. Your dental and gum health plays a key role in your body’s health. Whether the role is positive or negative all depends on several different factors. Factors That Cause Bad Oral Health While poor oral hygiene is a major cause of tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health problems, this is not the only factor. Even individuals who diligently follow the most regular oral hygiene routine usually have poor oral health as a result of: • Malnutrition • Failure to visit the dentist every six months • Family history of oral health conditions • Certain medications • Systemic health problems Understanding the Mouth and Body Relations In recent years, studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between oral and body health. As plaque and bacteria form in your teeth, this puts you at risk for gum infections. When this happens, it sends a message to your immune system to start fighting the infection, causing the gums to become inflamed. If the infection is not treated immediately, the inflammation will continue to spread throughout your gums and ultimately result in gum disease. This chronic gum infection can damage the soft and hard tissues in your mouth and cause tooth loss and bone degeneration. As you progress, infection and swelling will seep into your bloodstream and put you at risk of developing high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and other serious systemic disorders.
Because the mouth is considered a window to what’s going on inside the body, medical professionals have taken a more holistic approach to caring for patients, closer look at teeth, gums, medical history, and overall symptoms.
Oral Health and Respiratory Infections When bacteria in the mouth are constantly ingested or breathing into the lungs, it can cause throat and respiratory infections, such as pneumonia, COPD, and bronchitis. Oral Health and Autoimmune Disorders The relationship between autoimmune disorders and oral hygiene goes both ways. Patients diagnosed with diabetes are more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease. In the same way, if gum disease is not resolved, as inflammation continues to rise and runs throughout the body, it puts you at risk for diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and Sjögren’s syndrome.
Oral Health and Cancer Oral cancer is always a concern if you have poor health, especially if you smoke or use tobacco products. However, other types, such as pancreatic cancer, kidney cancer, and blood cancer are also associated with gum disease. Oral Health and Heart Disease When bacteria penetrate the bloodstream, it can cause plaque to form inside the arteries and harden. This will eventually lead to blockage and poor blood flow in the heart, resulting in hypertension, high blood pressure, stroke, or heart attack. Heart disease can be a silent killer. Patients often do not realize they have it until a heart attack or stoke occurs. If you see inflamed gums and are currently experiencing headaches, blurred vision, shortness of breath, dizziness, or chest pain, it is very important that you visit your doctor immediately. Oral and Pregnancy Health Hormone fluctuations in women often occur during puberty, menstruation, and pregnancy. It is not uncommon for women to experience tooth sensitivity or gum softness every month or during pregnancy. However, when a woman is pregnant and suffers from oral health problems, it can make the mother and baby at high risk and even cause low birth weight or premature birth. Therefore, it is very important that good oral hygiene is followed and if you notice the type of sore mouth or swelling of the rubber that you visit the dentist for examination. Tips on Caring for Good Oral Hygiene The following tips can help keep your teeth healthy: • Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft toothbrush or toothbrush using the right technique. • Floss every day. • Rinse with approved antibacterial mouth rinse. • Talk to your dentist and doctor about the symptoms you are experiencing right now. • List all the medications you are taking with your dentist so that she can determine if any of them can harm you because of gum disease. • Visit the dentist every six months for routine cleaning and examination.