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 of the inner lining of the heart is called endocarditis. It occurs when bacteria from other part of the body like mouth, spread through blood circulation and infect damaged areas of heart.
Pregnancy: Premature delivery and low birth weight have been linked to periodontitis.
Now let us look at some diseases which can affect your oral health-
Diabetes: diabetes reduces body’s resistance power which increases the risk for many infections including gum diseases. That’s why; gum infections are more frequent and severe among diabetic people.
AIDS: Due to reduced immunity, oral infections like mucosal lesions, blisters, gingivitis, etc. are common in people suffering from AIDS.
Osteoporosis: It causes bones to become brittle and weak. This might lead to tooth loss and periodontal bone loss as well.
What can I do to maintain good oral hygiene?
Prevention is better than cure; therefore prevention is the first step in maintaining good oral health.
To maintain good oral health and prevent infections you should practice oral hygiene habits like:
- Brush your teeth twice daily
- Clean between your teeth with floss or interdental brush once a day
- Eat healthy food including vegetables and fruits. Avoid in between snacks and junk foods like chips, biscuits, popcorn, chocolates- which stick to your teeth.
- Change your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months or when bristles get frayed
- Stop smoking and avoid any kind of chewable tobacco
- Clean your tongue with a tongue cleaner every day to avoid bad breath
- Last but most important go for regular dental checkups. Oral prophylaxis or dental scaling is the only way to remove the plaque or calculus (tartar) which slowly builds up on your teeth and traps bacteria in your mouth.
If you are looking for a good and an experienced dentist, then your search ends here! At RxDx We have an exclusive dental department equipped with latest facilities and services. Also there is a team of highly skilled dentists who have the expertise to treat all kinds of dental issues.
For further details, please contact: 080-49261111, 6745-8111
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