Taking care of your teeth and gums provides more than just fresh breath and a nice smile. It can actually help to fortify your overall wellness and prevent illness. That’s because there is a connection between oral health and the function of the immune system. As you continue reading, a dentist in Dublin explains the correlation and what you can do to protect yourself.
The Gums as the Gateway to the Body
The mouth not only provides a point of entry for food and beverages, but also bacteria and germs. If an infection develops and permeates the gums, it can eventually enter the bloodstream to spread throughout the body. Thus, it’s important to pay close attention to your oral health.
How Oral Health Can Impact the Immune System
When there is dental negligence, hundreds of types of oral bacteria can accumulate to form plaque, a sticky and acidic substance. Over time, this can lead to gingivitis (gum inflammation) and eventually periodontal (gum) disease. If not addressed, the bacteria can begin to disrupt the function of the immune system as they travel throughout the body.
The microorganisms then subvert the immune system, as it attempts to fight the infection. This causes inflammation throughout the body, as other invading bacteria are given free run. Keeping your mouth healthy allows the immune system to concentrate its efforts on the rest of the body to ensure you maintain your vitality.
Tips for Protecting Your Immune System
Here are some of the ways you can boost your immune system function and oral health:
- Commit to toothbrushing – At a minimum, you should brush and floss your teeth two times a day. This will agitate and remove most of the leftover food and beverage particles from your teeth.
- Make flossing a priority – Flossing is of equal importance as toothbrushing. The flexible material allows for cleaning in the tight spaces between the teeth where plaque and debris hide.
- Cut back on the sugar – Bacteria love sugar. Consuming less helps to starve the microorganisms of their favorite food, which helps to keep them at bay.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables – Fruits and vegetables contain amazing properties that are excellent for boosting your immune system. The kind with crunchier skin (like apples) can also aid in cleaning your teeth when you eat them.
- Visit your dentist – After visiting your dentist for a cleaning and checkup, you’ll leave with the confidence of knowing that any plaque and tartar have been removed, which directly correlates to better total wellness.
Now that you’re better informed, the next step is to take action to ensure excellent oral health and immune system protection. Today’s efforts will lead to a stronger and happier tomorrow!
About the Author
Dr. Eric Buck earned his dental degree from The Ohio State University College of Dentistry. Throughout his career, he has taken a holistic approach to providing care, encouraging his patients to take advantage of preventive dentistry. As a student and faculty member of Spear Education, Dr. Buck is dedicated to offering the absolute best in care at Distinctive Smiles. He can be reached for more information or to schedule a visit through his website.