It isn’t an exaggeration when dentists tell us that our oral hygiene is an indicator of our overall health.
To keep things simple, our mouths offer a ton of clues to our overall health, though they also affect our overall health when oral hygiene takes a backseat. With that in mind, you should always do your best when it comes to keeping on top of your oral hygiene to reduce other potential issues down the line.
With this being said, in this article, we’ll take a look at how oral hygiene can affect your overall health and how the two are connected.
Connecting Oral Health to Overall Health
Before we get into the thick of our article, we’ll take a look at how what happens in our mouths affects the rest of our body.
Of course, the most obvious reason is our diet is consumed through the mouth, and our diet has a major impact on our well-being and physical health. However, there is a little more to it than that.
One of the first things to keep in mind is that bacteria live in the mouth and can cause issues with the rest of the body if this bacteria goes unchecked and gets out of control. Typically, our bodies are able to take care of a lot of this bacteria on their own, with a little help from our brushing and flossing — though when we give up brushing and flossing, things become awry.
You will be looking at tooth decay and gum disease, for example.
In line with these issues, some medications that we take can reduce the body’s production of saliva, which can cut back on bacteria management, and eventually lead to gum disease and tooth decay if left unchecked.
Oral Bacteria Affects Inflammation
Getting into the more direct ways that our dental hygiene and dental issues affect the body, there is a connection between inflammation and the rest of the body.
When we cut back on our dental health routine, we open avenues for both tooth decay and gum disease. With gum disease developing, you can then expect to see the inflammation from the mouth follow through the rest of the body and majorly affecting other underlying issues.
For example, diabetes sufferers will see a worsened disease here due to the impacts of inflammation on the body.
Direct Disease Links to Oral Health
When it comes to the development of diseases, our mouths have a lot of power here.
Thanks to the mouth’s ability to either harbour or kill bad bacteria, you can either spike your risk of diseases and health issues or reduce them with a solid dental health routine which could be developed by a dentist like Australian Dental Specialists.
Some of the more common diseases and issues that come from poor dental hygiene can include:
Off the top, one of the diseases that can occur from poor oral hygiene is cardiovascular disease.
It is important to keep in mind that this connection isn’t yet fully understood, however, research studies have pointed out that the inflammation caused by problems such as gum disease can increase the risk of heart disease and other issues.
Added to this, recent studies have outlined that chronic inflammation affects essentially all organs in the body and can even reduce lifespan.
Keeping in the zone of the heart, the infection or issue known as endocarditis is essentially an infection of the inner chambers inside the heart. This occurs when the body allows germs or bacteria from other zones in the body to access and travel through the bloodstream.
When this happens, these bacteria find their way into the heart and cause the infection.
For pregnant women, it is vital to note that issues in the mouth can affect everything from the heart down to an unborn child.
For example, gum disease has the potential to impact the development of an unborn child and can result in premature births and moderately to severely low birth weight of children.
With these key complications and issues out of the way, it’s simple to see that dental hygiene, or poor oral health, is able to have a major impact on a variety of the systems in the body which can cause both permanent and short-term damage to organs, and even result in pregnancy problems.
The Simplest Ways to Maintain Dental Hygiene
The good news is that when it comes to oral hygiene, the process of keeping the teeth, gums and entire mouth clean isn’t too difficult at all.
However, you are going to want to make a few changes to your diet if you consume a little too much alcohol, smoke cigarettes or follow a diet high in sugary and acidic foods.
Our top tips here include:
- Developing and following a solid oral hygiene routine.
- Flossing and brushing twice a day.
- Using a mouthwash.
- Using a fluoride toothpaste.
- Maintaining an annual or bi-annual dentist checkup.
That said, it should be quite simple to keep on top of your dental hygiene without too much added fuss.