Did you know that an unhealthy mouth can lead to problems in other areas of the body?
Think about all the times you swallow throughout the day. Each time you take a sip of water or a bite of food, bacteria from your mouth is able to travel to other parts of the body and potentially cause infections.
Grossed out? Don’t be. Daily brushing and flossing help keep bacteria levels in your mouth under control. And checking in with your dentist a couple times each year will help you make sure your oral health is always on point.
But when you skip brushing and flossing on the regular, things can get out of control. In addition to tooth decay and gum disease, poor oral hygiene can allow bacteria levels to grow beyond what the body can easily handle. That bacteria can then travel throughout the body causing inflammation and contributing to issues like heart disease, pneumonia, and even pregnancy complications.
Certain overall health conditions can also affect your oral health, showing just how closely the two are connected. Diabetes can put you at risk for gum disease. Osteoporosis is linked to tooth loss. And Alzheimer’s can make your oral health go downhill.
Once you understand the connection between oral health and overall health, you can take advantage of this symbiotic relationship. For instance, making certain lifestyle changes to improve oral health will also reduce your risk factors for some serious, life-threatening diseases. Talk about a two-for-one special.
Some of the common risk factors that oral disease shares with other chronic diseases are:
• Diet. Poor diet can lead to tooth decay, but it can also contribute to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and obesity.
• Tobacco. Smoking or chewing tobacco increases your risk of oral cancer, plus heart disease, liver scarring, and other types of cancer.
• Poor hygiene. While skipping brushing and flossing on the regular can lead to gum disease, it can also contribute to other bacterial and inflammatory conditions.
Has it been a while since your last dental checkup? Don’t stress—ImmediaDent is a judgment-free zone. In fact, we enjoy any opportunity to help someone improve their oral health, regardless of your current brushing/flossing routine. Get on the path to better oral health today and request an appointment at one of our locations.
And while you’re at it, check out our tips on easy ways to improve your oral health.