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How Your Oral Health Can Affect Your Overall Health

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When you think of health, it's easy to forget about your mouth. Oral health is something that many people don’t get too concerned about, possibly because they simply don’t know how important it is. The fact is that the mouth is one of the first lines of defense against diseases. 

It's no secret that poor oral hygiene can cause problems such as cavities, gum disease, and other oral health problems. However, it's not just your mouth that suffers. Having bad oral health can affect your health overall. While not all tooth-related problems are life threatening, there are several illnesses that can be pretty serious. In this post, we're going to show you how an unhealthy mouth can give you an unhealthy body.

What You Should Know About Gum Disease

Gum disease is an infection characterized by the inflammation of the tissues and bone that hold your teeth in place. A slimy coat that forms on your teeth all the time (known as plague,) causes this infection.  Your gums will become inflamed ( red, bloated, and swollen,) as your body responds to the illness.

Gum disease is the most prevalent cause of tooth loss in adults. It is also typically coupled with a great deal of pain and discomfort. In extension, the discomfort can have a bad impact on your self-esteem. Worse still, it has the potential to influence your behavior, in a negative way.

What is the Link Between Oral and Overall Health?

Good oral health is almost as crucial as good general health. In fact, dental specialists like Orthodontist in Sydney have now started to view oral health as a window to the rest of the body, giving signals that something may be off in systems other than the mouth. 

For example, mouth lesions may signify an HIV infection. Gum bleeding that does not stop could be a sign of a blood problem. Tooth loss can be a visible symptom of an eating disorder, and bone loss in the lower jaw can be an early sign of skeletal osteoporosis.

How is this possible? The mouth is a conducive environment for microorganisms. Most of these microorganisms are harmless as they aid in the breakdown of food and the production of saliva, keeping the mouth moist and conducive for chewing and swallowing. 

However, dental problems such as cavities and tooth decay, and periodontal diseases, can cause these microorganisms to spread and multiply and may stimulate bacterial growth and lead to increased risk of infections and disease.

Possible Infections and Diseases that Bacteria in the Mouth may Cause:

  • Pneumonia 

Pneumonia is a condition where the lungs are filled with fluid, causing the people suffering from it to find it hard to breathe. Bacteria in your mouth can go to your lungs and cause respiratory illnesses like pneumonia.

  • Endocarditis  

Endocarditis is a bacterial infection that involves the inner linings of the heart or your heart chambers. It spreads through the bloodstream and is usually caused by bacteria from the mouth. In the United States, endocarditis affects about 30,000 people each year. In most of these cases, endocarditis occurs when bacteria from the mouth get into the bloodstreams. However, it can also be caused by infection from other body sites.

  • Cardiovascular Diseases  

Recent research suggests that infections produced by oral bacteria may be linked to constricted arteries, a major feature of cardiovascular diseases.

  • Pregnancy Complications

More than 50 million Americans suffer from periodontitis, which is a condition that affects the tissues supporting the teeth. It has been discovered that people who have had periodontitis since birth or early childhood may also have higher risks of more complicated pregnancies.

Conclusion

Every area of your body requires and deserves attention, and every facet of your health has an impact on other parts and systems. This is not something to be taken lightly. From a dental standpoint, a good oral hygiene practice will do wonders for your teeth, mouth, and smile, and will fortify the rest of your body as well.