Practicing good oral hygiene not only results in a bright smile with whiter teeth and healthier gums but also promotes good overall health. According to the American Dental Association, the mouth is the gateway to the body with the teeth and gums playing a major protective role. Daily brushing and flossing protect the body by helping to keep harmful bacteria under control. There is an intimate connection between oral health and overall health according to the Mayo Clinic. Problems in the mouth can negatively affect the rest of the body. Foster Dental Care recognizes the importance of proper oral care in the prevention of some major health problems.
Some research studies have shown that cardiovascular disease may be directly linked to infections and inflammation in the mouth caused by harmful oral bacteria. Endocarditis, an infection of the endocardium or lining of the heart can be caused by bacteria that come from another part of the body such as the mouth. The spread of these bacteria into the bloodstream can cause massive coronary damage. Poor oral health also contributes to clogged arteries by allowing harmful bacteria to enter the body.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
It is estimated that this disease affects more than thirteen percent of adults over the age of sixty-five and is the sixth leading cause of death in this age group. Gum disease and tooth loss can lead to dementia because the proper blood flow to the brain is decreased. This occurs because of improper chewing due to the loss of teeth and advanced gum disease.
Complications of Pregnancy
Research has shown the risk of premature birth is increased for women with poor oral health. According to the Journal of Periodontology, periodontal disease can lead to premature labor and a low-birth weight for infants. It is believed that the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy are responsible for the negative oral health problems in pregnant women. Dentists recommend a comprehensive oral health program to prevent periodontal and other oral problems that increase the risk of premature births.
Regular dental check-ups and practicing daily oral hygiene help protect the teeth and gums which have an indirect effect on the entire body. Maintaining a healthy diet and avoiding between-meal snacks also contribute to overall preventative dental care. Taking proper care of teeth and gums can help prevent severe consequences to other parts of the body. The investment of time and effort will be rewarded with better overall health.