There are many reasons to take good care of your oral health. Proper oral hygiene and dental care can help you achieve a beautiful smile, healthy gums, and fresh breath. It can also boost your confidence! But does your oral health also impact your body in more comprehensive ways?
Recent scientific studies have suggested that maintaining good oral health can reduce your risk of developing a number of systemic diseases that impact your entire body – including diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and cardiovascular disease.
In this article, we’ll discuss the link between systemic diseases and oral health and how you can take better care of your teeth to benefit your overall well-being.
The link between systemic disease and oral health
The connection between oral health problems and systemic disease isn’t always obvious. Systemic conditions such as osteoporosis, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and arthritis can impact not only the inner workings of our bodies but also our behaviors and physical abilities.
In other words — there are many ways that an existing condition can impact your oral health and vice versa.
How oral health affects overall health
Our mouths are one of the primary entry points for bacteria of all kinds, both necessary and harmful. While the bacterial composition of your mouth undoubtedly impacts the gums and teeth, it also has an effect on the rest of the body as well. When you experience a buildup of plaque, this bacteria can enter the bloodstream and travel to other bodily organs and systems, increasing your risk of long-term health conditions.
For example, gum disease is a bacterial infection that causes severe inflammation of the gums. It’s one of the most common dental health problems for patients of all ages and backgrounds. If left untreated, this oral infection can spread and damage the body’s inflammatory responses, leaving you at a greater risk of serious illness.
How overall health affects oral health
As one example, diabetes — and some medications used to treat it — can cause your salivary glands to produce less saliva. Over time, this can increase your risk for tooth decay and gum disease. Diabetes can also increase the concentration of glucose in saliva, feeding the bacteria in your mouth and causing plaque and tartar buildup.
Habits to maintain good oral and whole-body health
Behavioral and lifestyle habits like maintaining a healthy weight, getting plenty of exercise, avoiding tobacco, and sleeping for at least 7-8 hours every night can positively impact your health and overall well-being.
Taking good care of your oral health can also go a long way in maintaining your whole-body health and longevity. Here’s what you can do to maintain the health of your teeth and gums and reduce your risk of systemic disease:
- Brush your teeth thoroughly at least twice every day and floss between your teeth daily to remove plaque.
- Visit us for routine dental cleanings and exams at least once per year.
- If you smoke, work toward quitting.
- See your doctor as soon as you notice changes in your health.
- If you’re on any medications that cause dry mouth, ask your doctor if there are any alternatives you can try; if not, make sure you drink plenty of water and limit alcohol intake.
2. Keep an eye on these signs of gum disease
If you have diabetes, it’s important that you know and check for any signs of gum disease:
- Bleeding or redness around the gums
- Gums that don’t look healthy or are tender to touch
- Teeth falling out or loosening
- Mouth pain when eating hot foods, cold foods, sweets, and chewing gum.
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, see your dentist as soon as possible.
Dental procedures for overall health
If your gum disease is advanced to the point of significant decay or tooth loss, we have the experience and technology to provide comfortable, long-lasting treatments to help you achieve the healthy and beautiful smile you deserve.
In addition to our laser treatments, we can provide you with high-quality tooth replacements such as synthetic implants that look and feel just like regular teeth, crowns and bridges, or bone grafts. You can also inquire about a total smile makeover to completely rejuvenate the health and appearance of your teeth.
Visit us at Sedation of Dentistry of Sunny Isles and improve your oral health and well-being
Call us at (786) 629-1503 to schedule your first visit. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you on your road to a healthy, beautiful smile!