Unfortunately, not many realize the value of their oral health. Your mouth, teeth, and gums actually play a significant role in your overall health. Often, the state of your oral health offers clues about your general health. Problems arising in your mouth, too, later on, affect the rest of your body. To learn more about the impacts of oral health, here is a simple guide made from you, gathered from medical experts and patients alike.
The connection between your oral health and overall health
Your mouth is an area where bacteria thrive, as with the rest of your body. While most of these bacteria are harmless, your mouth serves as the entry point of these bacteria to your respiratory and digestive tracts, including those that cause diseases.
Your body’s normal response is natural defense, backed up by your good oral health care practices. This typically includes brushing your teeth regularly and flossing, as well as availing dental care in areas near you, such as Ann Arbor. Without all these, however, bacteria will thrive to the point of infections, causing gum disease and tooth decay.
Take note of certain medications, too. Decongestants, painkillers, antihistamines, antidepressants, and even diuretics (coffee, tea, and soda) can greatly reduce saliva flow. Saliva is necessary to your oral health maintenance, as it washes away food and neutralizes any presence of acid in the mouth.
Health conditions and diseases linked to oral health
Due to the integral role our oral health plays, plenty of studies have been conducted on it and its links to various diseases. As such, these studies have found that oral bacteria and the inflammation brought about by periodontitis (a severe form of gum disease) play a role in helping some diseases thrive in the body. Other studies also reveal that diabetes and HIV/AIDS lower the body’s resistance to infections, which in turn worsens oral health problems.
For a more detailed look into health conditions and diseases linked to oral health, check out the list below:
- Endocarditis - An infection found in the inner lining of heart chambers and valves. Endocarditis happens when bacteria from your mouth and various parts of your body spread through your bloodstream. As they travel through your heart, they attach on the linings and cause infections.
- Pneumonia - Pneumonia is one of the leading causes of death around the world, especially for the elderly. This occurs when specific types of bacteria enter the mouth and travel down to your lungs, causing infection.
- Diabetes - One of the fatal features of diabetes is lowering your body’s defense against infections. Due to this, your gums are mostly at risk. For people suffering from diabetes, gum disease turns almost always into severe cases.
- HIV/AIDS - HIV/AIDS also causes your body to lower its defense, and the risk of contracting oral diseases is common. Painful mucosal lesions, for instance, are usually present in people suffering from HIV/AIDS.
- Pregnancy failure and birth complications - Women developing periodontitis during pregnancy are usually at risk for pregnancy failure and premature birth, as well as sudden low birth weight.
Protect and maintain your oral health
With all these in mind, practicing good oral hygiene should be done with utmost importance and priority. To keep your oral health well and thriving, practice the following daily:
- Brush your teeth twice daily and more if possible. Ensure that you use soft-bristled brushes and fluoride toothpaste, which are heavily recommended by dentists.
- Apart from brushing your teeth, floss after every meal and flush out remaining particles through the use of mouthwash.
- Limit your intake of sugary food.
- Observe and maintain a healthy balanced diet.
- Dentists recommend that after a span of three months, your toothbrush must be replaced.
- Avoid smoking.
- Visit your dentist regularly. If need be, avail of services such as check-ups and cleaning. If you have the time, go for special services like aromatherapy cleaning available in Ypsilanti, among many places. Your oral health deserves the best, after all.
As you take care of your oral health, remember to always be honest with your dentist. If you’re in any medication for any type of condition, tell them. That ensures that the best possible care will be given to you, especially since your overall health greatly relies on your oral health.
Are you looking for an affordable dentist in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti in Michigan to help maintain your oral health? Reach out to us today to see how we can help.