In this difficult time, your health is more important than ever. Dental hygiene may not seem like a priority right now but in reality, it may be more important than ever. Research shows that many oral health ailments can lead to greater systemic health issues.
However, the opposite is also true in that many serious health issues sometimes first reveal themselves by a decline in your oral health. If you are practicing regular oral hygiene but your oral health is still suffering, you may be dealing with a health issue of which you are unaware. To help protect your health, it is a good idea to understand this connection between your oral health and your general health.
Oral Bacteria Linked To Major Health Problems
Human bodies play host to an entire ecosystem of living bacteria. It lives on our skin and in our nose and mouth although most of it is harmless to us. Faithfully maintaining an oral hygiene regimen that includes brushing your teeth at least at least twice a day and flossing daily can help will usually keep this bacteria in check. However, if oral hygiene is not regularly or properly performed, these bacteria in our mouths can turn minor oral health problems such as gum disease (also known as periodontitis) or tooth decay into major systemic conditions like heart disease.
Cardiac Problems Linked to Oral Health
Research indicates that a link exists between endocarditis and poor oral health. Endocarditis is when the lining of your heart is weakened by an infection from another part of your body, such as an infected tooth, that has moved through your bloodstream. This condition weakens the heart muscles and increases risk of heart attacks. Studies also show that exposure to bacteria from oral health issues can also increase the risk of clogged arteries.
Oral Health and Overall Health
Doctors have observed that 90% of systemic medical conditions reveal themselves in our mouths through specific symptoms. For example, patients with uncontrolled diabetes are more likely to have gum disease. Therefore, the presence of gum disease in a person with good oral hygiene, might indicate that he or she should go for check-up with their medical doctor or endocrinologist (diabetic specialist).
Also, lesions that appear in the mouth could indicate the presence of autoimmune diseases such as HIV/AIDS. While lost teeth may be a sign of the onset of osteoporosis, a bone-weakening disease. Similarly, people that have developed Alzheimer’s Disease often display a decline in oral health as well..
Prevent Illness with Good Oral Hygiene
You may be asking: What can I do to prevent my oral health from placing my overall health at risk? Dr. Sowell recommends brushing your teeth at least twice daily or after meals and flossing daily to remove the dental plaque that forms on our teeth, making them vulnerable to tooth decay. Staying hydrated is also very important as saliva washes away excess food that can form plaque. Saliva also helps neutralize some of the acids from food that eat away at our tooth enamel. Both dentists and doctors suggest eating a healthy diet with very little added sugar to control tooth decay and for good general health.
Plano, TX Dentist
The most important step you can take to maintain a healthy smile is scheduling regular appointments with Dr. Sowell or your area dentist to treat any issues as soon as they arise. Now, more than ever, it is important to take your health seriously. For people in Plano, TX schedule a cleaning and consultation online today with Dr. Sowell or call Sensational Smiles at (972) 382-6855.