How Your Oral Health Affects Your Entire Body

The goal of taking good care of your teeth and seeing a dentist regularly goes beyond just the health of your mouth. As research digs deeper and medical knowledge expands, it has been proven that there is direct correlation between a person’s oral health and the overall health of their entire body.

Our bodies are entire beings, not just individual parts. The body is a whole system and the individual parts all play a role in helping it function at it’s best. Taking the best care of the entire body and all of the parts is the best way to avoid medical complications, expensive doctor visits, and self-induced pain. Just like maintenance is so important to keep a car running properly, maintenance of the body is what keeps us healthy and happy humans. There are many ways that taking care of the health of our mouths have a great deal of power over the overall health of our bodies that are often overlooked, here are a few.

What you put in your mouth

It is obvious that the food we eat and the drinks that we drink enter our mouths, make contact with our teeth and gums, and then continue to make their way through the rest of our bodies. But it is not always something that we really take into consideration after eating something that feels sticky on our teeth or that is hard to chew. The reality is that those things wreak havoc on the mouth and it does not stop there, the rest of our body has to continue to break it all up and try to use it for fuel throughout the day. So not only does that sugary treat end up showing up on our teeth as discoloration and possibly cavities, it makes its way to our bloodstream and takes a toll on both energy levels and waistlines.

Dental plaque

One of the biggest factors in oral health is the presence of dental plaque. Plaque is the soft, sticky film that build up on the teeth that is made up of the bacteria and sugars that stick to our teeth and can cause decay and cavities. While plaque can be extremely damaging to our teeth and gums, it does not stop there. The bacteria in the mouth has the ability to cause inflammation throughout the entire body and clog the arteries, increasing a person’s risk for heart attacks and strokes.

Infections

Lack of care for our mouths can result in a variety of infections that have the ability to spread throughout the body. Gingivitis, or gum disease, is one of the most common infections that occur as a result of poor dental hygiene. It can create more issues because it has the potential to lead to periodontal disease. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, when certain bacteria is breathed into the lungs, such as the bacteria associated with gingivitis, it can cause pneumonia.

Canker sores can be caused by a variety of things such as stress, hormones, or even food sensitivities. They are uncomfortable lesions that can form on the gums and mouth tissues. Without proper hygiene, these sores can become worse and even infected, leading to pain and problems eating and sleeping. If a person is susceptible to canker sores, it is so extremely important to keep the area as clean as possible through proper oral hygiene so that infections do not develop and spread further throughout the body.

Diabetic complications

Whether you are diabetic or not, taking care of your oral hygiene can still play a role in diabetic complications. Brushing and flossing your teeth is not only great for handling the sugar that has built up over time in your mouth, but your blood sugar as well. If you do suffer from diabetes, you may be making yourself more susceptible to periodontal disease. On top of that, inflammation of the gum tissue can actually make it more difficult to control your blood sugar, which for diabetics can be potentially fatal. And for those who do not suffer from diabetes, it is possible that the issues with gum inflammation, and the build up of sugar can increase your risks of developing the disease.