Oral Health Affects Overall Health

Your oral health can affect the rest of your body, and may even be a sign of your overall health. Your mouth is full of bacteria - most harmless - but without proper oral hygiene, this bacteria can lead to oral infections. Oral health can affect or be affected by a variety of diseases and other conditions, such as the following: Endocarditis: Endocarditis is an infection of the inner lining of your heart, and typically occurs when bacteria and other germs from other parts of the body spread through the bloodstream and attach to damaged areas in the heart. Cardiovascular Disease: Research has found a possible link between inflammation and infections caused by oral bacteria and heart disease, clogged arteries and stroke. Pregnancy and Birth: Periodontitis has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight. Diabetes: Gum disease appears more frequently and more severely in patients with diabetes. Diabetes reduces the body's resistance to infection, putting the gums at risk. Research also shows that those with gum disease have a more difficult time controlling blood sugar levels. HIV/AIDS: Oral problems, such as mucosal lesions, are common in people who have HIV/AIDS. Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis causes bones to weaken and become brittle. It may be linked with periodontal bone loss and tooth loss. Alzheimer's Disease: Tooth loss before age 35 may be a risk factor for Alzheimer's. Because of these potential risks, you should practice good oral hygiene every day to protect oral health:
  • Brush teeth at least twice a day
  • Floss daily
  • Eat a healthy diet and limit snacking
  • Replace your toothbrush every three to four months
  • Visit your dentist regularly

Contact your dentist as soon as any oral health problem arises. Good oral health practices are an investment in your overall health and well being. 

Courtesy of Mayo Clinic


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