Many people do not realize it, but your oral health has a vast effect on your overall health as well. Your teeth and gums are directly connected to the rest of your body through the bloodstream. There are many diseases which, although they may not be caused by poor oral hygiene, can be greatly exacerbated by gum disease and other oral health problems. At Glen Perio, we can provide you more information on the mouth-body connection and explain how to maintain proper oral hygiene.
How Oral Health Affects the Body
Your oral health can affect your physical health in two ways. First, your teeth and gums are directly connected to the bloodstream that flows through the rest of your body. If you have a build-up of bacteria, it is very possible that it could get into your bloodstream and spread to other parts of your body, causing infection elsewhere. Second, infection anywhere in your body can compromise your immune system. Your system has to respond in order to fight the infection, taking away resources that protect other parts of your body. This often leads to other unpleasant symptoms, such as fever, as well.
Oral health also plays a factor in emotional, mental, and neurological health according to various studies. For example, good oral hygiene tends to boost self-confidence. Higher self-confidence, then, allows you to be more social and mentally present in your daily tasks. People with good oral hygiene tend to take better care of their bodies because they feel better overall.
Patients with severe gum disease are 40% more likely to experience a chronic health issue in addition to the gum disease. There are numerous diseases and health conditions that can be associated with gum diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and various lung disorders. Gum disease reduces the body’s ability to process blood sugar properly, thereby worsening diabetes. Inflammation from the disease restricts blood vessels and flow, creating a strain on the heart. The disease also increases the number of bacteria present in your lungs, leading to pulmonary issues. There are also researchers that believe that gum disease is connected to osteoporosis and arthritis as well. Gum disease has also been shown to cause issues with fetal development during pregnancy.
Likewise, various health conditions can also increase the risk of developing gum disease. For instance, obesity is a risk factor because gum disease tends to progress quickly when there is a higher body fat presence.
Maintaining Good Oral Health
Brushing twice a day is essential for proper oral hygiene. Brush for two minutes each time and make sure you get all surfaces of your teeth; top and sides. You should also floss at least once a day, though after each meal is ideal. Floss in between each of your teeth using traditional dental floss, a floss pick, or a water flosser. It is also recommended to use a mouthwash for thirty to forty seconds following brushing and flossing. You can also clean your tongue using a toothbrush, floss, or tongue scraper. Call Glen Perio at 224-488-3392 to schedule a routine cleaning appointment and learn more about the mouth-body connection today.