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Importance and Connection of Oral Health to Overall Well-Being

Too often, the health of your mouth is not considered when thinking about your
overall well-being. But our bodies are a holistic system – each part affects the
other. Your overall health affects your dental health, and vice-versa.

Taking proper care of your teeth, gums and mouth is a worthy goal in and of
itself. Good oral and dental hygiene can help prevent bad breath, tooth decay, and
gum disease—and can help you keep your teeth as you get older.

Well, researchers are unearthing new reasons to brush and floss. A healthy
the mouth may help you ward off medical disorders. The flip side? An unhealthy
mouth, especially if you have gum disease, may increase your risk of serious
health problems such as heart attack, stroke, poorly controlled diabetes and
preterm labour.

In this article, we shall examine just a few ways that your oral health impacts
your overall well-being so that you can be empowered to live a healthier,
happier life! Let us get started now.

What is The Connection Between Oral Health and Overall Health?

Your mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria, and most of them are harmless.
Normally, you can keep them in check with good oral care, like brushing and
flossing daily.

But without proper oral hygiene, oral infections such as tooth decay and
gingivitis/periodontitis (gum disease) may occur – and if the bacteria from these
diseases spread throughout your body, your overall health could be at risk.

In addition, some disease such as diabetes and HIV/AIDS can compromise the
body’s ability to fight off oral infections, and make them more severe.

What Health Conditions Can Be Caused By Poor Oral Care?

Severe oral infections such as periodontitis are associated with increased
inflammation throughout the entire body. As these harmful bacteria spread
throughout your mouth, they enter the tiny blood vessels and capillaries in the
gums – spreading throughout your entire body.

Currently, this is thought to increase your risk of:

 Endocarditis – Endocarditis is a potentially dangerous infection of the
heart’s inner lining, and it occurs when infection and inflammation from
other parts of the body spread to the heart.
 Cardiovascular disease – While the precise mechanism is unknown,
multiple systematic reviews have associated poor gum health (periodontitis) with a dramatically increased risk of cardiovascular disease including heart attacks and clogged arteries.
 Pregnancy/birth problems – Poor oral health is associated with issues like
low birth weight and premature birth.
 Stroke – At least one study has indicated that periodontal infection could be
a risk factor for ischemic stroke.

What Health Conditions Can Affect My Mouth?

Some non-oral health conditions can have serious negative effects on your

 Diabetes – Diabetes reduces your body’s ability to fight infection, and high
blood sugar levels that are unregulated can lead to serious gum disease and
tooth decay. In addition, diabetes can cause xerostomia (dry mouth), which
reduces saliva flow significantly.

 Osteoporosis – Osteoporosis can damage your jawbone, causing issues like
brittle teeth and tooth loss.

So, What Should I Do?

The best way out to make sure your oral health is not affecting your overall
health and vice-versa is to consult a dentist regularly for a 6-month oral exam
and teeth cleaning. You should also maintain good oral hygiene habits on your

If you do so, your dentist will be able to catch any potential issues before they
become serious – and you will enjoy a better level of overall health and well-

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