While you know that practicing good oral hygiene protects and improves your smile, did you also know that it also helps keep your whole body healthy? Not only do brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits reduce your risk of cavities, bad breath, periodontal disease and other oral issues, it also improves your health.
By paying attention to the health of your gums and teeth, you can see clues that indicate the potential for other health problems. Various studies reveal that there’s a viable possible connection between gum disease (periodontal disease) and diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. As science continues its research into the connections between a healthy body and a healthy mouth, you can take to opportunity right now to understand the importance of maintaining oral health.
Healthy mouth, healthy body connection
Although gum disease can affect anyone, it’s more common and potentially more dangerous in patients with diabetes, blood cell disorders, HIV and AIDS, which reduce a person’s ability to fight and resist infection. If a person’s gums have inflammation from gum disease, it may indicate heart disease, risk of stroke or blocked arteries. People with diabetes are more likely to suffer gum disease than non-diabetics and have a higher risk of it becoming severe periodontitis.
Understanding the connection
Despite the research suggesting that certain health conditions have a higher chance of resulting in gum disease it’s not certain that one condition causes the other. Gum disease is a gradual disease that develops when plaque and tartar accumulate between teeth and along the gum line. The bacteria in plaque and tartar weaken and damage the connection between the soft gum tissues and the tooth and the resulting gum disease can eventually attack bone tissue. When a person’s body and immune system have weaknesses from other health conditions, it’s essential that gum disease receive prompt treatment.
Care for your mouth to help your body
Even though underlying health conditions have the potential to increase the possibility of developing gum disease, it’s still important to care for your mouth and keep it healthy. Improving your oral health can boost your entire system so follow correct oral hygiene procedures including:
- Daily brushing and flossing – Brush teeth at least two times a day and floss at least one time a day. Add in an antimicrobial mouthwash to help eliminate bacteria where floss can’t reach.
- ADA Products – Make sure to find and use products with the ADA (American Dental Association) Seal of Acceptance.
- Schedule regular dental visits – Consistent dental cleanings and exams are essential to good oral health because a professional cleaning is the only way to remove tartar.
- Discuss current health information – Make sure your dental professional knows all of your current medications and any recent health changes.
- Eliminate tobacco – If you smoke or use other tobacco products, learn about ways to quit because tobacco is detrimental to your oral and overall health.
- Dry mouth treatment – Taking certain medications can lead to suffering a dry mouth and this is bad because decreased saliva production can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Ask your dentist about the best way to treat dry mouth.
Practicing good oral hygiene is an essential step that can help improve the overall health of your body. Knowing what a healthy mouth feels like helps you realize when something doesn’t feel quite right so you can address it promptly with your dentist.
Discuss more ways to protect and improve the health of your mouth with the dental professionals at Greater Baltimore Prosthodontics.