Healthy Mouth is Linked to Healthy BodyMay 15, 2021
A healthy body starts with a healthy mouth since it is a gateway into your body’s overall health. There is mounting evidence that shows an association between poor dental hygiene and a wide variety of diseases. The key is prevention, and here at Artful Smiles Dental Studio we are going to explain how visiting your dentist at least twice a year can help with your overall health.
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, and it makes gums red, swollen, and quick-to-bleed. These symptoms are part of a response to the bacteria in the plaque that builds up between your teeth and gums. More than half of Americans have gingivitis. According to the American Heart Association, although correlation is hard to prove, there is evidence that suggests there may be an association between the gum disease and heart problems. Because of this connection, it shows that the mouth can be a good warning signpost.
Adults 20 to 64 have lost an average of seven permanent teeth, and 10% of Americans between 50 and 64 have absolutely no teeth left. Both cavities and gum disease can lead to tooth loss. Losing teeth affects food choices, which can have an effect on overall health and wellness. Softer and easier to chew foods are usually higher in fat or have less nutritional value, so this kind of diet can cause weight gain and diabetes. We always say, “Just floss the teeth you want to keep.”
Bad breath, clinically called halitosis, may affect as much as 65% of the population. A number of health conditions can have bad breath as a symptom, but the number one by far is poor oral hygiene. Food particles that linger after meals can start to stink, and infrequent brushing and flossing can cause more bacteria to build up in your mouth. The coating on your tongue is also a key contributor to bad breath, and this problem can be solved with a tongue scrapper that you can get from your local dentist.
When pathogens lurk in your mouth, you inhale them right into your lungs where they can cause all kinds of health problems. One major review pointed to this process as the reason for an association between poor oral hygiene and hospital-acquired pneumonia. Improving oral hygiene reduced the incidence of such pneumonia by 40%.
Gingivitis affects 60 to 75% of pregnant women, and it’s especially important that expectant mothers tend to their teeth. Poor maternal oral health is also associated with low birth weight and preterm birth. Researchers suspect that one of two mechanisms may be at play: Either overall inflammation is heightened, or oral bacteria that enter the bloodstream eventually colonize the placenta, causing an inflammatory response. We recommend regular flossing and more frequent dental cleaning while pregnant.
People with periodontitis can become a reservoir for Helicobacter pylori, the bacterium that is asymptomatic in most people but is responsible for stomach ulcers when it flares up. Helicobacter pylori can be transmitted orally, and large epidemiological studies have found a positive association between periodontitis and a positive test for the bacterium.
Protect Your Health: Schedule a Dental Checkup
Can’t ever find the time to take care of your teeth? About half of Americans don’t floss daily, and one in five don’t brush twice daily. So you’re not alone, but you may want to reconsider your daily habits. Being vigilant in your healthcare is your best guard against any number of awful health issues. Seeing your neighborhood dentist for regular dental check-ups, along with regular brushing and flossing, may help promote overall health.
American Heart Association
National Center for Biotechnology Information (US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health)
Canadian Dental Association