Good oral health is important not only for a healthy smile but also for good overall health. You would be surprised to know that a number of health problems are associated with poor oral health. This is precisely why you should ensure that your teeth and gums are in optimal condition. Your dentist can help you maintain a healthy smile. If you don’t have a family dentist, the first thing you need to do is find a dentist in your neighbourhood. Online public reviews can help you find a good dentist near you.
This article will help you understand the various health issues linked with bad oral health and what can you do to maintain healthy gums and teeth. Let’s take a look:
How Poor Oral Health Affects Overall Health?
Listed below are some of the health problems which are linked to poor oral health:
- Digestion Problems – The process of digestion starts with the chemical and physical processes in the mouth itself. If you are suffering from gum diseases or dental problems, the initial stages of digestion are affected. This may further lead to irritable bowel syndrome, intestinal failure or other digestive problems.
- Respiratory Issues – The connection between gum diseases and respiratory infections may not be obvious. But, studies have shown that breathing harmful bacteria from infected gums and teeth over a long period of time may lead to infection in lungs and even cause pneumonia.
- Cardiovascular Diseases – Disease causing bacteria from affected teeth and gums can enter the blood stream and travel to the arteries in the heart. These can lead to atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries in which plaque develops on the inner walls of the arteries and slows or blocks the blood flow. Compromised blood flow to heart can increase the risk of heart attack or a stroke. It may also result in either infection or inflammation of the inner lining of the heart – a cardiovascular condition known as endocarditis.
- Diabetic Complications – Periodontal diseases can make it harder to control the level of blood sugar and worsen the other symptoms of diabetes. Those suffering from diabetes are also at a higher risk of acquiring periodontal disease. Hence, practicing proper oral care is more crucial for people suffering from diabetes.
- Dementia – People suffering from gingivitis, a mild version of gum diseases can be at a higher risk of dementia. The bacteria from infected gums can enter the brain through nerve channels or through the bloodstream. This may eventually result in development of Alzheimer’s disease.
Early signs of most of these diseases can be identified from your oral health. Hence, regular dental visits are important. Your dentist may be the first healthcare provider to identify the initial symptoms of many of the above mentioned health problems.
How Can You Avoid Oral Health Problems?
These simple steps can help you avoid oral health problems:
- Brush twice a day with a fluoride containing toothpaste
- Use a non-acidic and alcohol free mouthwash to rinse after brushing
- Replace your brush after every 3 or 4 months
- Make flossing a daily habit
- Eat a healthy diet with fruits and vegetables which promote healthy teeth and gums
- Avoid consumption of tobacco in any form
- Schedule regular dental visits and never miss out on them
Maintain a good oral hygiene routine. It can benefit you in more ways than you can imagine. You’re your family understand the importance of a healthy mouth for good overall health and encourage them to follow a good oral hygiene routine.