Why Good Oral Health Is Important To Your Body’s Overall Health

Boutique Dentistry for Nashville, Tennessee

Did you know there’s a link between “good” oral health and your overall health? In fact, the health of your mouth can also offer “clues” about wellness in other areas of your body.

In addition, oral health issues can also have a domino effect when it comes to conditions.

happy woman showing off her amazing smile

What’s The Link Between Good Oral Health and Overall Health?

The truth is, your teeth and gums have an abundance of bacteria. Most of it is harmless. However, your mouth is the entry point to the respiratory and digestive tracts. This is where bacteria can turn into illness. The good news is, good oral health care can help bacteria remain under control. This includes a proper oral hygiene routine, as well as regular check-ups and cleanings at your Nashville dentist.

The Medication Factor

In addition, specific medications can decrease saliva flow. Medicines that do this include:

  • Decongestants
  • Antihistamines
  • Painkillers
  • Diuretics
  • Antidepressants

Saliva helps “flush out” food particles. It also defuses acids that bacteria produce in the mouth. Ultimately, this stops microbes from multiplying, which leads to infection.

Poor Oral Health Can Contribute To Other Health Issues

Firstly, past studies offer insight into poor oral health and other issues in the body. Research reveals that bacteria in the mouth and inflammation from severe gum disease can increase chances around certain conditions. Therefore, there are some connections to conditions and poor oral health. See below.

Cardiovascular Disease

First off, studies suggest links to clogged arteries, stroke, and heart disease. This is due to infections and inflammation caused by oral bacteria.

Endocarditis

This condition affects the inner lining of your heart chambers or valves. It generally happens when germs and bacteria from other parts of the body, including the mouth, flow via the bloodstream. As such, they attach to specific regions of your heart.

Pneumonia

At times, specific bacteria from the mouth pull into the lungs. Therefore, creating pneumonia, as well as other respiratory illnesses.

Pregnancy

Finally, there are links to periodontitis in pregnancy and how it relates to and low birth weight and premature birth in babies.

Other Illnesses That Affect Your Oral Health

In addition, some diseases and conditions have an impact on your oral health, too.

Alzheimer’s Disease

As Alzheimer’s progresses, a patient’s oral health worsens.

Diabetes

By decreasing your body’s resistance to infection, diabetes places gums at risk. In fact, gum disease is frequent and more severe in those with this condition. In addition, past studies reveal that patients with gum disease have a difficult time when it comes to regulating blood sugar levels.

HIV/AIDS

Oral issues are common in HIV/AIDS patients. An example of this is mucosal lesions, which can be quite painful.

Osteoporosis

Lastly, there’s a connection between this condition with tooth loss and periodontal bone loss. In addition, specific medications that treat the illness create a patient’s risk to jawbone damage.

Links to other conditions that affect oral health include:

  • Some eating disorders.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Certain cancer.
  • Sjogren’s syndrome.

If you have any of the above conditions, talk to your Nashville dentist during your next examination. It’s best to advise them of any changes to medication, as well. At the end of the day, this will help them stay on top of any possible risks to your oral health.

Ways To Protect Your Oral Health

The links to oral health and other conditions can be scary. Not to mention, the connection between conditions that can lead to poor oral health. However, there are proactive steps you can take to ensure strong oral health and overall wellbeing. Some tips, below:

  • Brush teeth twice a day. Plus, use fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristle toothbrush.
  • While on the topic, replace your toothbrush every three months. Sometimes, bristles can get worn, making them less effective.
  • Floss, each and every day. This helps remove those sticky particles from your teeth and gums that brushing did not get.
  • Use a mouthwash rinse, daily. This helps take out particles left after flossing and brushing.
  • Eat well. Reach for healthy foods and try to limit snacks with added sugar.
  • Schedule regular dental exams and cleanings with your Nashville dentist.
  • Contact your dentist if you feel like an oral health issue could arise. It’s better to be safe than sorry. If you wait on it, complications could arise. Addressing problems sooner rather than later is the best solution.
  • Refrain from tobacco use.

Looking For A Dentist in Nashville, TN That Aligns With Your Health Goals?

The mouth is a gateway to the rest of the body. Never underestimate the part your oral health plays when it comes to overall body health. At the Center for Advanced Dentistry in Nashville, we believe a healthy smile radiates wellness. We perform uplifting and enriching holistic treatments in a boutique-inspired and relaxing clinical environment.

When your oral health demands love and care, contact the Center for Advanced Dentistry. Call today at (615) 383-6787 to schedule an appointment or book a visit online.