In recent years, you may have heard that there appears to be a connection between the health of your mouth and your body’s health in general. And as more and more studies are published, that connection becomes more and more apparent.
Your mouth’s health does indeed seem to have an impact on your overall health, and in some cases vice versa – so keeping those biannual dentist appointments is more important than ever.
The Connection Between Oral Health and Overall Health
It may sound distasteful, but your mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria. And that’s not always a bad thing – many of the bacterium hanging out in your mouth are harmless. And with regular oral hygiene and dentist visits, that bacteria can be easily managed and kept in check.
However, if bacteria levels reach the point where they are causing oral infections, they could begin impacting your overall health. Some studies point to the possibility that the inflammation that goes along with some oral maladies, such as gum disease, can play a part in other diseases as well.
Oral Infections and Specific Illnesses
While research is still being conducted, some studies have begun to indicate an association between infections in the mouth with cardiovascular disease, pre-term births and/or low birth weights, and diabetes complications.
According to data from the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, inflammation in the mouth might play a factor in blood clots and clogged arteries, and that mouth bacteria might cause arterial inflammation, which can exacerbate the formation of plaque in the arteries.
For patients with diabetes, chronic gum disease may make the condition harder to manage; infection can cause insulin resistance, according to the Mayo Clinic, which disturbs blood sugar control.
As for expectant mothers, some studies indicate that toxins created by oral bacteria and carried through the blood may reach the placenta, interfering with a fetus’s growth and development, which can cause delivery prematurely.
Other Illnesses’ Effects on Oral Health
Likewise, some conditions and medications can negatively impact your oral health. Any condition that reduces your body’s ability to fight infection can cause issues in your mouth, which is, like we said, a hot bed for bacteria. Patients with diabetes may experience more frequent occurrences of gum disease, as may patients who have HIV/AIDS.
The Importance of Saliva
Also, as saliva cleans and flushes bacteria from your mouth, medications that cause dry mouth can have a negative impact on your oral health. Many painkillers, decongestants, antihistamines and diuretics can potentially reduce your saliva production, making it easier for bacteria to take root.
Make Your Dentist Appointment Today
With the understanding of how much your oral health can factor into your overall physical health, scheduling at least two dentist visits a year should be a top priority. Dr. Lordo’s office is conveniently looked along High Street in Worthington, just one block south of the Worthington Fire Station. To schedule your first appointment, call us at 614-885-4754 or schedule online.