The health of one body part can substantially influence the health of another body part. When it comes to keeping the heart healthy, very few people would think that maintaining a healthy smile would be related. However, strong connections have been established between your oral health and your overall health, especially your heart. While many people forget that the mouth is also a part of the body, the importance of good oral health cannot be undermined to ensure overall health.
How is Oral Health Connected to Overall Health?
Various studies have shown a clear connection between bacteria in the mouth and health conditions such as strokes, heart disease or Alzheimer’s. The ailments have been linked to the inflammation in the mouth and the harmful bacteria breeding in the mouth. People with poor oral hygiene are far more likely to contract health conditions including memory loss, respiratory conditions, arthritis and more.
Similarly, your overall health can also impact your oral health. For instance, diabetes can put you at greater risk of gum disease due to the higher level of blood sugar. More than 90% systematic health conditions show some symptoms in the mouth. This means that your dentist in Oklahoma City, OK can potentially identify early signs of severe health conditions like:
How Does Gum Disease Influence Your Heart Health?
- Diabetes, which often causes chronic bad breath and easily bleeding gums.
- Osteoporosis, which causes bone loss that can be identified in the jawbone via X-ray.
- Several types of cancers, which can manifest without notice as strange sores, lumps, or discolorations in your mouth, throat, glands, or neck.
Experts believe that gum disease or periodontal disease impacts heart health significantly. Gum disease is caused due to harmful bacteria in your mouth. When gum disease is not treated, the bacteria can cause extensive damage to the teeth, gums and jaw. Such destructive bacteria hold the ability to impact other parts of the body too.
When your gums bleed, they behave like an open wound. This creates a direct pathway for the bacteria in the mouth to enter the bloodstream. If the bacterium enters the blood stream, it can travel to the heart and infect the linings of the chambers and the valves. Further, the inflammation of the gums due to periodontitis can also result in inflammation throughout the body. For the heart, it can lead to narrowing and clogging of the arteries. Combined, these factors can cause significant harm to the heart, increasing one’s risk of heart disease.
How Can You Keep Your Smile and Heart Healthy?
Now that you know the effects of an unhealthy mouth on your body, the easiest solution is to practice good oral hygiene and keep your mouth healthy. Here are simple steps that you should include in your oral hygiene routine:
- Brush your teeth for two minutes, twice every day
- Floss your teeth and swish your mouth with a mouthwash at least once a day
- Consume a balanced diet and limit the amount of carbohydrates and sugar in your diet
- Get a professional dental check-up and cleaning at least twice a year
- Always be alert of gum disease and talk to your dentist if you see any symptoms
Practicing oral care methodically will help you keep your mouth healthy and prevent gum disease. If you spot any signs of gum inflammation or bleeding, discuss it with your dentist immediately. For people who are suffering from advanced gum disease, periodontal therapy in Oklahoma City, OK can help in fighting it and restoring your oral health.