The oral health is one of the most neglected areas in anyone’s health, but did you know that problems in the mouth can affect the rest of your body systems? Oral health has a big impact on overall health due to a single reason: any bacterial growth in the mouth and teeth can travel to other areas in the body causing a wide variety of illnesses, much the same as your local Tampa chiropractor has explained that any small problem in the nervous system can travel throughout the body and cause pain and problems elsewhere.
The Connection of Good Oral Care and Being Healthy
The mouth harbors millions of bacteria as a result of collection of food debris, saliva and acids in the mouth. Good oral care such as brushing and flossing every meals and maintaining adequate nutrition can help keep these bacteria at manageable levels without causing ill effects. However, poor oral care and reduced immunity can lead to dental caries, gingivitis and other oral problems that can negatively impact one’s health. Conditions outside the mouth can also develop as a result of dental problems. These conditions include:
The most common complication of dental and gum disease is endocarditis. This involves the inflammation of the inner most lining of the heart. When bacteria from the mouth travel through the bloodstream, these microorganisms can lodge in the heart and damage the heart valves. As a result, it may lead to heart valve prolapse and eventually heart failure.
- Heart attack and stroke
Dental problems can also lead to clogging of the arteries that supply the heart and brain as a result of the systemic effects of inflammation leading to potentially life threatening heart attack and stroke.
- Metabolic diseases
Poor oral health can also lead to certain metabolic conditions such as diabetes. Diabetes may result from poor blood sugar control as a result of infection. Once the person has diabetes, gum disease and dental problems also worsen leading to an unending cycle of problems.
- Premature birth and low birth weight
Pregnant women with dental problems can also suffer from problems relating to pregnancy and delivery. Periodontitis has been seen to cause low birth weight in the newborn as well as premature delivery.
- Bone problems
Bone loss due to tooth loss can also occur as a result of periodontal disease. In some instances, bone loss can progress to osteoporosis as a result of systemic calcium loss.
- Degenerative cognitive impairment
Early tooth loss before the age of 35 was seen to be a minor risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. This makes oral health an important indicator of mental health as well.
- Poor nutrition
Most especially, poor oral health can lead to dry mouth, tooth ache, gum problems and the like, which may affect the person’s ability to eat leading to poor nutrition especially in children and the elderly.
Ensure Overall Health with Good Oral Hygiene
It is then imperative to maintain good oral health through the following measures:
- Flossing daily with dental floss. Avoid harsh things like thread and the like.
- Brushing the teeth at least twice daily after meals. Use toothbrush with soft bristles to prevent gum irritation.
- Increasing intake of vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables to prevent infection.
- Visiting a dentist regularly. Make sure to seek prophylactic dental care every 6 months.
As soon as dental problems arise, make sure to contact your oral health provider to prevent potentially serious complications.