Every morning and every night when you brush your teeth, you are likely not thinking that you are taking a step to prevent pneumonia, diabetes or even heart disease. In fact, that is exactly what you are doing.Oral health is surprising linked to overall physical health in many ways, making proper preventative oral care, including brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits even more important.
So, what are the connections between dental health and overall health?
1. Your mouth. Here's where it all starts. Your mouth is full of bacteria — mostly harmless – but some can cause serious disease. Since your mouth is the entry point to your digestive and respiratory systems, eliminating these harmful bacteria while they are still in your mouth can keep the rest of your body healthy. Brushing and flossing daily can assist in preventing bacteria build up.
2. Inflammation. If you have poor oral hygiene, your gums can become inflamed, and bacteria will build up in these areas causing periodontal (gum) disease. If you experience this type of inflammation, you are inhibiting the body's natural immune defenses against other types of illnesses, making it easier for you to get sick or have more extreme symptoms of chronic conditions like diabetes and HIV/AIDS. Regular visits to your dentist for preventative care can help you avoid developing periodontal (gum)disease and the resulting issues it can cause to overall health.
3. Chronic health conditions. Once you develop periodontal (gum) disease or other serious dental conditions, it is more likely that harmful bacteria will spread from your mouth to other parts of your body.Most commonly, these bacteria contribute to endocarditis, the inflammation of the lining of the heart; pneumonia, an infection in the lungs; cardiovascular disease; and, in pregnant women, premature birth or low birth weight for their child.
4. Pain. Poor dental health can also lead to problems in your mouth, such as cavities and tooth sensitivity that can cause pain and discomfort. Often, these problems can be treated by your dentist aspart of a restorative care plan, but proper oral hygiene can help prevent the need for these procedures.
5. Aging. Proper dental health can help as you get older. Conditions that are more common in senior citizens, such as diabetes,Alzheimer's disease and osteoporosis can all effect oral health. The better condition your dental health is in before you develop one of these overall health conditions, the healthier you will be overall.
At Gentry Dentistry of Suwanee, preventative care is available to the whole family. If you are already experiencing pain, bleeding of the gums when you brush your teeth or tooth sensitivity, be sure to tell your hygienist so that we can take the proper steps in determining your dental health. To set an appointment for your next cleaning, book now through our online contact form or call our patient service desk at 770-945-5850.