How taking care of our teeth affects our whole body
We’ve all heard the saying, “you’re never fully dressed without your smile.” I’d like to add to that that you’re not completely healthy without good oral health – not as catchy, but you get the point.
Our mouth is the gateway to the rest of our body and its functions. If our oral health begins to fail, it can lead to serious health issues, including respiratory problems, increased risk of dementia, and even heart disease and stroke.
Oral health is the practice of keeping our teeth free from cavities and our mouth free from infections, bacteria and inflammation that can affect our overall health.
A few ways to maintain good oral health: avoid tobacco products, brush your teeth after each meal for at least two minutes, take care to spare your gums, floss with each brushing or at least once a day, and limit sugary drinks and snacks.
Finally, if you have postponed your appointment with your dentist, make an appointment today. We should have regular dental checkups at least twice a year. In addition to keeping our teeth and gums healthy, our dentist can also detect warning signs of other health issues.
Here’s more information on some of the common problems associated with poor dental health.
Heart disease/risk of stroke
People with periodontal disease are twice as likely to develop heart disease and arterial narrowing due to bacteria and plaque entering the bloodstream through the gums.
Increased risk of dementia
Tooth loss due to poor dental health is also a risk factor for memory loss and early-stage Alzheimer’s disease due to increased inflammation that can affect the brain.
Periodontal disease bacteria can travel through the blood to the lungs where they can aggravate the respiratory system, especially in patients who already have breathing problems.
About 95% of American adults with diabetes also have periodontal disease, and a third of them have lost teeth. This is likely because people with diabetes are more likely to get infections.
Men with periodontal disease are 7 times more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction than men with good dental hygiene. This is because bacteria from periodontal disease can inflame blood vessels and block blood flow to the genitals.
Risk of premature birth
Doctors speculate that one of the main causes of premature labor is infection of the mother’s body. A common site of infection is the mouth
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