Oral Health and Overall Health Go Hand-in-Hand
Just brushing and flossing every day can help prevent disease in the rest of your body. It has been proved time and again that improving your oral health can prevent tooth decay and gum disease, which in turn can lead to serious medical problems. Oral diseases have been linked to diabetes, heart disease and stroke; according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
When your dentist examines you, he or she can determine your medical condition in a certain way. That’s because your oral health can be a reflection of the overall health of your body. For instance, if you already have a chronic condition such as diabetes, you are at a greater risk for oral disease, such as gingivitis, oral yeast infections (thrush) and mouth ulcers.
The mouth is full of bacteria of different types, mostly harmless. If you practice good oral hygiene and are otherwise healthy, your body’s defenses can normally overcome infections. However, some factors may compromise oral health and allow an imbalance between the harmless and harmful bacteria in the mouth.
Some of these factors are poor oral hygiene which can lead to a buildup of bacteria; medications that decrease saliva, such as decongestants, antihistamines, painkillers and antidepressants, leading to a condition called ‘dry mouth’ that increases susceptibility to tooth decay; also, conditions that affect the immune system that allow bacteria to proliferate more easily.
There can be certain medical conditions that are linked to poor oral health. Conditions like cardiovascular disease have been found out to have oral bacteria links, and endocarditis, a potential fatal inflammation of the inner lining of the heart also have the same links. There’s also rheumatoid arthritis and head and neck cancers. Periodontitis has been linked to low birth weight and premature birth.
Minding your oral health is an investment in overall health. So practice good oral hygiene, eat a healthy, balanced diet, avoid excess sugar, stop smoking, and go for regular dental check-ups.
Taking Care of Your Oral Health in Bellingham
Know more about other medical benefits of good oral health when you visit us at Tetrick Family Dentistry, your friendly and experience oral management team in Bellingham, WA.