Why Neglecting Oral Care Is Hazardous To Your Health

The Link Between Oral And Physical Health

Your oral health and your physical health are inextricably linked. If you have poor oral health, you’re much more likely to have poor physical health. Poor oral health has been linked to diseases such as:

  • Diabetes:

A disease of the pancreas, diabetics experiences more frequent gum disease, which can be exacerbated by poor oral hygiene habits.

  • Endocarditis: 

A disease of the lining of the heart that can be caused by blood-borne bacteria that can originate in the mouth.

  • Cardiovascular disease: 

Studies have indicated that cardiovascular disease can occur as a result of the presence of oral bacteria.

  • HIV/AIDS: 

Those individuals who have HIV or AIDS may experience more frequent oral lesions, which can lead to more physical issues. Good oral hygiene is essential if you have either of these diseases.

  • Pregnancy complications: 

Women who are pregnant and have periodontal disease have been linked to low birth weight in their full-term babies and some babies were born prematurely.

  • Stroke: 

A study conducted in Sweden that was comprised of 1676 random subjects indicated a direct correlation between gum disease and stroke. Even those with mild gum disease were more likely to have a stroke, and those with severe gum disease were four times more likely to suffer a stroke.

  • Bacterial pneumonia: 

A study conducted at Yale University concluded that the presence of oral bacteria can trigger bacterial pneumonia, which kills about 5 percent of the world population annually.

  • Gum disease: 

Gum disease is a direct result of poor oral hygiene. Neglecting to brush and floss regularly results in the buildup of germs and bacteria that attack the gums and the teeth. Good oral hygiene practices can greatly reduce or eliminate the possibility of periodontal disease.

Lifestyle habits such as smoking, drinking alcohol, and yo-yo dieting can adversely affect both your physical and your oral health, as can many medications. Sometimes, those who have dental implants feel that they no longer need to brush and floss as they did with their natural teeth, but this is not true. Whether you have implants or your natural teeth, food particles can become trapped between the teeth and gums, and the result is usually decay and gum disease.

Why And How Is Oral Health So Important?

Although most of your body contains bacteria, most of it is beneficial bacteria that play a positive role in your overall health. However, your mouth is the entryway to the rest of your body via your respiratory tract and your digestive system. When harmful bacteria and germs are in your mouth, they can travel throughout your body and cause disease and infection.

Normally, your body’s immune system can protect against disease and infection if you have good health. When you brush and floss, you eliminate many bacteria that may be in your mouth and therefore it can’t travel to other areas of your body. Brushing and flossing daily removes the detritus that can cause decay, cavities and gum disease. When the majority of decay-causing bacteria is removed, then your mouth and gums are healthier, thus the rest of your body is healthier.

Brush and Floss Regularly

The first step in maintaining good oral health is to brush and floss regularly. This means that at a minimum you should brush every morning and every evening, and you should floss at least once a day, but ideally, you would brush and floss after every meal or snack. Many people brush and floss before bedtime, and this is great, but in the morning, you need to brush before you eat or drink anything. Otherwise, the bacteria that have built up in your mouth overnight will be sent directly to your digestive system, which can ultimately cause health problems.

Have Regular Cleanings and Checkups

Maintaining good oral health also means maintaining a regular schedule of dental checkups and cleanings. A deep teeth cleaning at DeJesus Dental is a great way to get your teeth extremely clean and learn about new products that are available to help you with your oral hygiene.

Address Issues Early

If you experience tooth, jaw or gum pain, don’t delay in seeking dental care. The longer you wait, the worse the situation will become. Not only do you risk losing one or more of your teeth by delaying treatment, but you also risk developing a physical disease such as one of those mentioned above. Just as you cannot have good physical health if you have an infected toe, you can’t have good oral health if you have an infected tooth or gum, and your physical and oral health are inextricably linked.

Use a Good Toothbrush

Toothbrushes don’t last forever. Dentists recommend that you replace your toothbrush at least every three months, sooner if you have been ill or your toothbrush has worn bristles. When you’re ill, it’s very important to maintain your oral hygiene routine, but germs can linger on your toothbrush, so when you start to improve, replace your toothbrush so that you don’t continue to reinfect your mouth.

Eat a Healthy Diet

One of the easiest and best methods for maintaining good oral health is to eat a healthy diet that is low in added sugar, preservatives, and flavor enhancers. Both your body and your mouth will be healthier without these things, and they’ll contribute to strong bones and healthy enamel. Fast food is full of empty calories and chemicals, so avoid fast food in favor of fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean protein.

If you practice good oral hygiene, but begin to have either physical or oral health issues, talk to your dentist as well as your medical doctor. Sometimes, irregularly spaced teeth that have gaps in them can be a hiding place for bacteria, so if your teeth aren’t straight and even, then they might be the cause of your issues. However, practicing good oral hygiene is the first step to maintaining good physical health, so get started with brushing and flossing regularly.

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