You might know the vital role that your oral health plays in maintaining your natural teeth for longer. Did you know that it can also protect your entire body from disease and improve your quality of life? Below, we explain all of the ways that your oral health can affect your overall wellbeing.
The links between oral and general health
Your mouth is quite literally the gateway to your body. It leads to our digestive and respiratory systems, so keeping it clean and healthy shouldn’t merely be an exercise in preserving our teeth.
Our mouths provide the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive. They are kept damp, warm, and fed on a tasty diet of sugar and carbohydrates. If these bacteria are left to grow, they can cause issues that can affect your quality of life.
Lack of sleep
Tooth decay and infection result from a build-up of bacteria in the mouth. If left untreated, you will feel a pain that could start to keep you up at night.
While this might not sound like the end of the world, too many sleepless nights will lead to poor memory function, decreased concentration levels, and irritable moods. These outcomes can affect your performance at work and your personal relationships too.
Some studies have shown that bacteria can enter the bloodstream through the mouth and cause inflammation. This build-up could eventually form small clots, which may lead to strokes and heart disease.
It is worth mentioning that these links are yet to be investigated and confirmed.
This condition affects the inner lining of the heart. It is often caused by bacteria entering the blood - potentially finding their way there through the mouth.
Practising good oral hygiene is crucial for preventing this condition, as is the early treatment of dental abscesses and gum disease.
People with diabetes are more likely to develop dental disease due to high sugar levels in the blood.
This can lead to increased sugar levels in saliva, helping bacteria grow and produce acid that, in turn, eats away at your enamel and causes gum disease.
Just as bacteria can travel from your mouth to your digestive system, they can also travel down to your lungs. Bacteria in the lungs can lead to diseases like pneumonia and emphysema.
Recently, a study uncovered that women who went into labour early were 45% more likely to have gum disease.
Womens' hormones change dramatically during pregnancy - as a result, gums can become swollen and harder to brush. Despite this, it's vital to retain a thorough brushing and flossing routine to keep plaque at bay.
Prevention is always better than cure
The best way to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and the related health issues they may cause is by maintaining your oral health.
Always brush twice a day, floss, use interdental brushes, and visit your dentist for six-monthly check-ups and hygiene appointments.
If you’re due a visit to your local Fulham dentist, book your next appointment today.