The information available on the link between your oral health and your body’s health has increased in recent years. Not everyone is familiar with the many ways what’s happening in your mouth can affect the rest of your body, but the link is actually a fairly important one. Not only can your oral health be connected to the rest of your body, but it can also be a symptom of other potential health risks.
The Connection Between Mouth and Body
Your mouth is an important indicator of what’s going on in your body. Problems that start in the mouth can affect other parts of your body. The opposite is also true: issues in your body can cause symptoms that appear in the mouth. This is one of the reasons that maintaining oral hygiene is so important.
Signs to Watch For
Since the health of your mouth is so important to your body, it’s imperative that you pay attention to it. Even if your oral hygiene is stellar, take notice of irritating or recurring issues, even if they’re small. Symptoms you may be tempted to ignore, such as a toothache or tender gums, could be a sign of conditions that need treatment, and you should see your dentist. Inflammation or swelling in your mouth is a sign you should pay special attention to. Even if the problem turns out to really just be a cavity, it’s important to get it treated all the same.
Periodontitis and Diabetes
A significant connection has been established between periodontal disease and diabetes. These two conditions affect each other, which can be both a detriment or benefit. Periodontitis is an infection that affects your gums, and if left untreated can quickly become a serious problem that can damage the bone beneath your teeth. The inflammation caused by periodontitis can make it difficult to utilize insulin in the body. This can cause serious complications for those with diabetes if not treated.
Gum Disease and Heart Disease
The correlation between gum disease and heart disease is also significant. Those with heart disease are more likely to develop gum disease than those without. The inflammation of the mouth and gums that comes with gum disease is thought to be an additional risk factor for heart attacks. This is due to the resulting inflammation that can occur elsewhere in the body.
Oral Bacteria and Alzheimer’s
A connection between oral bacteria present in periodontitis and Alzeheimer’s is also suspected. In a research article by Stephen S. Dominy and additional researchers published in Science Advances, it was noted that bacteria associated with periodontitis was detected in patients with Alzeheimer’s. Research is ongoing, however the significant link between periodontitis and Alzeheimer’s has encouraged many to pay special attention to their oral healthcare.
Maintaining proper oral hygiene is an important part of keeping your body healthy and preventing oral health problems. Luckily, keeping your mouth healthy can be easily accomplished with some diligence and helpful habits. Brush your teeth after you eat as often as possible, and floss regularly. Keep an eye on your diet as well, as some foods can harm your teeth if eaten in excess. In addition, visit your dentist regularly for professional cleaning and x-rays that will help catch problems early.
Have more questions about how your oral hygiene affects your whole body health? Contact Carothers Family Dental, a San Marcos dentist, to get more information or to schedule an appointment.