We all know good oral health habits prevent issues like bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease, but can neglecting your oral health really impact other parts of your body?
Yes! Bacteria and infections that begin in your mouth or jaw can travel to other parts of the body, and infections in your mouth can cause your overall immune health to decline, allowing dangerous diseases to make it past your body's defenses.
While your mouth is always a breeding ground for bacteria, it can be controlled with good oral hygiene. But neglect your teeth and gums, and it’s not just your mouth that will suffer.
What Types of Health Issues Can Be Caused By Bad Oral Health?
Periodontal Disease and Peridontitis
Periodontal disease is the medical term for gum disease, including gingivitis. It can cause swollen gums, irritation, and bleeding. Periodontitis, the more advanced form, can lead to receding gums, damaged tissue and bone around the teeth, tooth loss, and even serious diseases.
Endocarditis is an infection of the inner lining of your heart and typically occurs when bacteria or other germs from another part of your body make it into your bloodstream. From there, they can attach to damaged areas in your heart.
Infections in the mouth are also scientifically linked to an increased risk for heart disease, clogged arteries, and stroke. Inflammation and infections that oral bacteria can cause are pretty detrimental to the heart when not taken care of quickly.
Premature Births and Low Birth Weight
Peridontitis has also been medically linked to premature birth and low birth weight. Just like other small illnesses and infections can be harmful to a baby, your oral health can also affect an unborn baby.
How To Protect Against These Issues:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss -- it's clinically proven to help prevent gum disease when done properly and regularly over the course of 6 months!
- Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months and after every time you get sick with something like strep throat or mono.
- Avoid tobacco use -- it's bad for every aspect of your health, no matter how you use it.
- Have a healthy diet.
- Schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings.
Recent research provides convincing evidence that oral health and overall health are undeniably linked: what’s good for our mouth is also good for the rest of the body. We know you work hard to keep the rest of your body healthy and happy, so do the same for your smile!
Dr. Barker and our entire team are dedicated to developing lifelong relationships with his patients by combining the latest in dental technology and techniques. We provide an array of dental procedures and treatments, including dental implants, dentures, cosmetic dentistry, and tooth extraction. The result is a beautiful, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime!