We use our teeth every day and don’t give them a second thought, so the connection between oral health and overall health is often overlooked. But the two are deeply intertwined, as the state of your mouth can tell you a lot about the rest of your body. Here’s how your oral health can impact the state of your overall health and well-being.
The Link Between Oral Health and Heart Disease
Would you think that oral health affects your heart? Inflammatory mediators common in both periodontitis (a severe form of gum disease) and heart disease establish an unexpected but significant link between these two conditions.
Poor oral health could potentially lead you down a path toward cardiovascular issues and impact your quality of life by causing bleeding gums, tooth sensitivity, and experiencing pain while eating.
Why would cardiovascular disease and poor oral health be connected? According to this study from Harvard Health Publishing, there may be a number of reasons.
- While oral bacteria infect the gums and cause gingivitis and periodontitis, those bacteria can also travel to other blood vessels in the body.
- The body’s immune response to this inflammation can set off a domino effect of damage throughout the body, including critical organs like your heart and brain.
- Other lifestyle factors also come into play. If a person smokes, doesn’t eat well or exercise regularly in addition to neglecting to practice good oral hygiene daily, the likelihood of them developing heart disease is higher.
Gum Diseases: An Underestimated Threat
Poor dental care allows harmful bacteria buildup that could potentially enter the bloodstream, causing inflammatory reactions elsewhere in the body. Gum disease isn’t just a painful nuisance, it can be linked to serious illnesses like diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, gum disease has been linked to causing premature birth and low birth weight among pregnant women.
If you leave gum disease or periodontal disease untreated, the bacteria begin to chip away at the ligaments, tissue and bone that hold your teeth in place. You may also notice bad breath starting to form and begin to feel pain.
Recognize How Poor Oral Health and Overall Health Are Connected
While our team of dental professionals is here to help, you should also look out for any of these warning signs at home. Early detection is key for managing and treating any potential issues – the phrase, “prevention is better than a cure” also rings true for your oral health.
- Cavities are silent troublemakers. A common dental issue across the globe, cavities are a result of bacteria converting sugars from our food into acids, which then erode tooth enamel. Cavities often go unnoticed until substantial damage has been done to your teeth.
- Gum disease is a stealthy invader. Gum disease starts as gingivitis due to plaque build-up at the gum line, leading to inflammation of the gums. But if left unchecked over time, it progresses to periodontitis, where infected pockets form around teeth, causing bone loss.
- Broken or lost teeth should raise alarm bells. You shouldn’t be losing any teeth once the tooth fairy has claimed all the baby teeth from under your pillow. If you notice any chips or cracks or have lost a tooth completely, book an appointment with your dentist right away.
Benefits of Good Oral Health
Oral health often doesn’t get the spotlight it deserves. Your teeth are not only essential for eating, but they’re also integral for your ability to speak. Your teeth are also one of the first things that people notice when they interact with you, as your smile offers a first impression of your personality.
Nothing can boost your self-confidence quite like a beautiful smile. Maintaining a healthy mouth is essential for preserving your oral health and overall health. Your mouth’s condition can reflect underlying medical conditions you may not be aware of yet, such as nutritional deficiencies or infections.
Why You Should Book Your Dental Checkups With Flagship Dental
Dentists play an invaluable role in maintaining good oral health by diagnosing conditions early through regular check-ups. At Flagship Dental, we don’t just treat any existing conditions but will walk through a treatment plan that best suits your needs and lifestyle. We want you to feel empowered to take charge of your health and we’ll give you the tools to live your life to its fullest.
Regular check-ups with our team of trusted professionals who understand this crucial connection between your mouth and body can prevent any long-term health problems down the road. There’s a reason why we have been a trusted dental care provider for the residents of Surrey and Langley for several years. We’re experienced and knowledgeable, and we want to help you look and feel your best too.
At Flagship Dental, we’re committed to helping our patients understand how their oral health impacts their overall well-being. Our team provides comprehensive care that focuses on prevention, early detection, and effective treatment strategies for all types of dental concerns. Book an appointment today.