How oral health can affect your overall health? Find out

We usually think oral health is only about brushing, flossing and getting cavities filled. Most of us do not visit a dentist unless we have pain or bleeding in the mouth. But to our surprise oral health is much more important than just having clean teeth. Our oral health or you can say our mouth offers clues about our overall health. Conditions related to our mouth can affect the health of rest of our body. Let’s make you aware about this – The connection between oral health and overall health: Your mouth contains wide variety of bacteria, most of them are harmless. Body’s natural defense and good oral hygiene can keep a check on these bacteria so that it does not cause any infection. However, in the absence of proper oral hygiene habits like brushing and flossing, bacteria can lead to tooth decay and gum diseases. Certain medicines, like painkillers, decongestants, diuretics and antidepressants can reduce the amount of saliva produced. As saliva helps in keeping the mouth free of food debris and neutralizes acid produced by bacteria, reduction in the amount of saliva can increase the risk for infections. Research has shown that bacteria and inflammation associated with gum diseases may play a role in some diseases. In addition to this, some diseases like diabetes, HIV, cancer can lower the body’s resistance to diseases and infections. What health conditions/ diseases are linked to oral health? Our mouth health can contribute to various health issues including: Cardiovascular diseases: Many studies have proved that infection and inflammation caused by oral bacteria can lead to heart diseases and stroke. Endocarditis: Infection...

The Diabetes-Inflammation-Obesity Connection

Inflammation in laymen terms is swelling with redness and pain. A painful bruise or insect bite with surrounding area of redness and pain is Inflammation. Diabetes is a lack of or underutilization of Insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced in our bodies by the pancreatic beta cells. Insulin helps in the sugar metabolism of our body. Scientists for past ten years have known increased levels of Inflammation in people with adult-onset Diabetes which is mostly from underutilization of Insulin also called Insulin resistance. In Diabetes the inflammation is internal. This is now being studied and researched extensively, as reducing inflammation through exercise, diet and medications can help in treating Diabetes. Diabetes is closely associated with Obesity. In abdominal obesity where there is the excess fat collection (adipocytes) around the waistline. Adipocytes produce bioactive proteins that can be easily measured and can reflect the inflammatory status of any person. Fat filled adipocytes have a higher concentration of cytokines, chemokines (inflammatory markers) which stimulate macrophages. These together lead to inflammation throughout various organs of the body and also induce insulin resistance. The liver is also affected by overweight/obesity. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) ranges from mild steatosis (fatty collection in the liver) all the way to liver cirrhosis. Lipid accumulation in liver cells also releases cytokines, chemokines. Inflammation from these has shown its role in pathogenesis and progression of NAFLD. Hepatic (Liver) Glucose production is not suppressed as these markers induce hepatic insulin resistance. This further worsens diabetes. Exercise like walking 35 – 40 mins a day helps in the prevention and control of diabetes, partly by weight loss and partly...