It’s Not just Your Teeth: How Oral Hygiene Impacts Overall Health

going to the dentist

Yes, going to the dentist regularly can help you get those pearly whites. But did you know that going to the dentist for regular checkups and cleanings can positively affect your oral health?

And it’s not just that.

Since your mouth tends to be the gateway to infection, going to the dentist regularly can keep the rest of your body healthy as well.

But oral health is not all about dentist checkups and cleanings.

You need to do your part as well.

Find out what you need to do to improve and maintain your oral health. Plus, what conditions and illnesses are caused by and affect your oral health.

(After reading this, you may think twice about skipping out on that floss.)

What illnesses can be prevented by going to the dentist?

Heart Disease

Yes, more factors are at play than just oral health. Nonetheless, the bacteria in the mouth can cause inflammation and infections in other parts of your body, your heart included.

An article even states that there’s a link between cardiovascular disease, strokes, and clogged arteries to oral bacteria.

Premature Birth and Low Birth Weight

The same article goes further, suggesting Periodontitis is connected with premature birth and low birth weight. (Periodontitis is a gum infection.)

Heart Lining Infection

In other words, Endocarditis. As the title suggests, this is an infection of the heart lining. It is caused by bacteria and germs from other parts of the body (i.e. mouth), which move through the bloodstream and latch on to damaged parts of the heart.

Other diseases that affect your oral health

Here’s a list of diseases that could wreak havoc on your oral health:

  • HIV
  • AIDS
  • Diabetes
  • Eating Disorders
  • Osteoporosis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Head Cancer
  • Neck Cancer
  • Sjogren’s Syndrome

In general, many of these diseases dry out the mouth, decreasing the saliva. Saliva helps maintain strong teeth, prevents gum disease, allows you to comfortably swallow, and so forth.

With low saliva, you’re more at risk for gum disease, tooth decay, and cavities.

On top of this, a lot of these diseases weaken your immunity, which leads to infection and inflammation in the mouth. And, in some cases, gum disease.

Specifically, with Osteoporosis, your bones are becoming more and more brittle, resulting in tooth loss.

Plus the medicine that treats this disease can damage the jaw.

What you can do to improve and maintain good oral health

What you need to do:

  • Brush twice a day for two minutes per brushing session. Make sure you don’t just brush the front of your teeth, but the back, sides, and gums too.
  • Floss at least once a day. Flossing gets the plaque your toothbrush can’t get.
  • Eat a healthy diet. In fact, fiber-rich foods clean the mouth and increase your saliva.
  • Avoid sugar. Sugary foods can get stuck in teeth and cause cavities and tooth decay.
  • Reduce alcohol consumption, as it causes dry mouth.
  • Don’t use tobacco products.
  • Replace your toothbrush every month.
  • Go to the dentist regularly. It’s important that you tell your dentist if you’re taking any medication or have gotten an illness.

For more information, contact us!