For many of us, we think that if we can brush our teeth twice a day, then we are doing great. But, it is a more complicated process. Of course, we all want a healthy mouth. Therefore, we need to focus on the overall impact of our oral health on our bodies.
When we think about oral health, we often focus on our teeth and gums. However, your mouth is a gateway to the rest of your body. As a result, its condition can influence various health conditions.
Gum Disease and Heart Health
A common dental issue that you may encounter is gum disease. This is a condition that affects the soft tissues of your gums. Gum disease is not just limited to your mouth. In fact, it can have far-reaching consequences for your cardiovascular system.
Research suggests that the inflammation and infection associated with gum disease can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. With good oral hygiene, you can reduce this risk and protect your heart.
Oral Health and Diabetes Control
For those with diabetes, oral health is very important. For example, diabetes can increase the risk of gum disease. Conversely, gum disease can make it more challenging to control blood sugar levels. You can help manage your condition if you have good oral hygiene.
The health of your mouth can impact your respiratory system. Poor oral hygiene can lead to oral infections. This is because harmful bacteria can find their way into your lungs. It can potentially cause or exacerbate respiratory conditions like pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Expectant mothers should pay extra attention to their oral health. Gum disease during pregnancy has been associated with preterm birth and low birth weight.
The bacteria from gum disease can enter the bloodstream and potentially affect the developing baby. Therefore, your oral health is vital to staying healthy during pregnancy.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that affects the joints. However, it can also impact oral health. It can lead to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders and an increased risk of gum disease. On the other hand, oral inflammation can worsen autoimmune symptoms.
Kidney disease is another condition with ties to oral health. For example, kidney disease can lead to dry mouth. This condition can increase the risk of cavities and gum disease. Additionally, kidney disease can manifest as bad breath–a symptom that can negatively affect your social life and self-esteem.
Osteoporosis weakens bones, including those in your jaw. This can lead to tooth loss and an increased risk of gum disease. To manage this issue, you can include calcium and vitamin D in your diet. These are essential to keep your teeth and bones strong.
Some research suggests a link between poor oral health and cognitive decline in older adults. The inflammation associated with gum disease may contribute to cognitive issues like Alzheimer’s disease. Taking care of your teeth and gums as you age can be a valuable step in maintaining cognitive health.