oral health

How Oral Health Affects Your Overall Health

oral health
How often have we come across the saying that the mouth is the gateway to our body? And, how often do we take it seriously? Most of us tend to ignore the importance of oral health, thereby affecting our overall health in the bargain.

Oral health, bacteria and diseases

The mouth is full of millions of bacteria, most of which, if left unattended, could continue to grow and cause serious issues such as plaque, tooth decay, gum diseases, and periodontal diseases. Now, this is where regular maintenance of oral hygiene and visiting dentists come into play. If not treated on time, the bacteria can grow, enter the bloodstream, and spread to other parts of the body. Some of the common health problems caused due to bad oral health are:
  • Cardiovascular diseases: Inflammation in the gums is mainly due to bacteria. When the bacteria get into the bloodstream, it can lead to the hardening of arteries. The outcome can be blood flow issues, heart blockages, and increased chances of heart attack, hypertension, and stroke.
  • Diabetes: While diabetics have more chances of oral infections, serious mouth problems like periodontal disease worsen diabetes control. Gum diseases can be the cause of high blood sugar levels, and diabetics need to take special care of their oral hygiene.
  • Cancer: Oral and throat cancers are the most common ones when it comes to cancer due to poor oral health. However, other types like kidney, pancreatic, or blood cancers are equally possible due to gum diseases.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: Both gum diseases and Rheumatoid Arthritis lead to inflammation, and oral bacteria in can cause inflammation in other body parts. In fact, according to research, people with gum diseases are more likely to suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis and vice versa.

Prevention is better than cure

Regular dental check-ups and maintaining some basic oral hygiene rules can go a long way and prevent you from suffering from a lot of diseases. Visiting the dental clinic can help you with scheduled clean-ups, while the dentist can check for any developing issues, poor nutrition, and overall hygiene of the teeth. For good oral practices at home, you need to religiously follow these:
  • Brush your teeth and gums at least twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste
  • Floss daily to remove plaque.
  • Avoid smoking cigarettes and chewing tobacco products
  • Cut down your sugar intake
  • Have a healthy diet to get proper nutrients
Ensuring proper dental care is a life-long process and should not be compromised at any cost. Well-maintained oral health is the key to an overall healthy body. It decreases the chances of critical health issues that can even lead to life risk.

References

  • https://health.gov/healthypeople/objectives-and-data/browse-objectives/oral-conditions

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