News flash – oral health is so much more than just your teeth! Your mouth is the window to the health of your body. Oral health includes not only the health of your teeth, but also your gums, bones, ligaments, muscles, glands, and nerves. Your ability to speak, smile, smell, taste, touch, chew, swallow, and make facial expressions to show feelings and emotions is impacted negatively or positively based on the condition of your oral health. Having good oral health gives an individual confidence in their self-image and sense of well-being.
Mouth and Body Connection
If your mouth is not healthy you could face far more serious consequences than just a simple toothache; however, the mouth is a fascinating thing. It can warn you of the start of more serious health conditions. It can show signs of nutritional deficiencies, general infection, and the onset of systemic diseases – diseases that can affect other parts of the body or the entire body – such as diabetes and AIDS. Diabetes complications can occur when you have inflammation of the gum tissue and periodontal disease (a disease more common in diabetic patients). These, in combination, can make it harder to control your blood sugar and make your diabetes symptoms worse.
Gum disease, an indicator of poor oral health and a chronic inflammatory condition, is linked to illnesses such as:
- Heart Disease – A disease that is most known as coronary artery disease or cardiovascular disease. This disease causes decreased blood flow to the heart which can cause a heart attack.
- Respiratory Disease – A disease that affects the lungs and other parts of the respiratory system. Respiratory diseases may be caused by infection, smoking tobacco, or breathing in secondhand tobacco smoke, radon, asbestos, or other forms of air pollution. Respiratory diseases include asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary fibrosis, pneumonia, and lung cancer. Also called lung disorder and pulmonary disease.
- Osteoporosis – A bone disease that occurs when the body loses too much bone, makes too little bone, or both. As a result, bones become weak and may break from a fall or, in serious cases, from sneezing or minor bumps.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis – An autoimmune and inflammatory disease where your immune system attacks healthy cells in your body by mistake, causing inflammation (painful swelling) in the affected parts of the body.
Good Oral Health = Good Overall Health
It is important to establish good hygiene habits so that your oral health does not negatively impact your overall health. There are a variety of steps that can be taken to make sure that your oral health is in tiptop shape.
- Brushing your teeth twice a day & after every meal for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste
- Drinking water with fluoride
- Flossing daily
- Eating a balanced diet
- Limiting sweet snacks between meals
- Staying away from sugary foods and drinks and try not to sip or eat on them all day. If you want a sugary food or drink, have one at mealtimes.
- Visiting your dentist at least every six months for cleanings, prevention and treatment of cavities
Good Oral Health Saves Lives
Taking preventative steps and teaching your family good oral hygiene routines now can not only save their oral health, but also save their lives. With the new year, set a new goal to make your oral health a priority. Last year caused many of us to get behind on our oral health due to dental offices being closed. Dental offices are back up and running so don’t delay, schedule your appointment and make sure your oral health is in tiptop shape.
Contact Roseman Dental to schedule your dental exam.