If you think of your oral health as separate from the rest of your body, then don’t feel ashamed. It’s easy to compartmentalize things when it comes to your health. The reality, though, is that the condition of your mouth, teeth and gums can have a major impact on your overall wellness. Find out why it’s critical to be proactive about your oral health as you continue reading!
The Connection Between Oral and Overall Health
The simplest way to understand the relationship of oral health to the rest of your body is to consider the law of gravity, which basically demonstrates that what goes up must eventually come down. Therefore, any mishap or declination in the health of your mouth, teeth and gums that goes unaddressed can be expected to show signs in other parts of your body.
The primary nemeses of health and wellness that must be consistently monitored is bacteria growth. The microorganisms are always present, but the following conditions encourage their growth:
- A diet high in sugar (which is their favorite food)
- Failure to practice proper and consistent oral hygiene
- Failing to maintain regular preventive care visits
The Problems That Bacteria Can Cause
When bacteria are allowed to grow unfettered, they release caustic fluids that can eventually wear down the tooth’s enamel and bore to the sensitive pulp area. If not annihilated, the bacteria will only continue moving, leaving a trail of inflamed blood that can travel from the gums to other parts of the body.
Untreated bacteria can lead to oral cancer, pancreatic cancer and HPV virus, but the effects can also be found in the brain. Researchers have discovered that a particular type of bacteria produced in the mouth can bypass the blood-brain barrier to contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease, which is a neurodegenerative condition.
Additionally, bacteria growth can lead to hypertension, heart disease and an increased chance of stroke.
Simple and Effective Preventive Measures
The best way to treat bacteria is to prevent them from growing. Here are some proactive steps you can take:
- Brush and floss your teeth at least two times daily.
- Limit your consumption of foods and beverages high in sugar.
- Increase your water intake to better flush your mouth of bacteria and leftover food particles.
- Keep some mouthwash handy for situations where you can’t perform your normal oral hygiene routine.
Finally, take advantage of your #1 ally in the fight against bacteria – your local dentist. To improve your oral and overall wellness, schedule a preventive care visit today!
About the Author
A graduate of The Ohio State University College of Dentistry, Dr. Eric Buck has the experience and expertise to guide you to excellent oral health, and to help you prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. To remain current with the latest advances in the dental field, he maintains professional membership with such organizations as the Ohio Dental Association, the Spear Education Society and the American Academy of General Dentistry. Dr. Buck provides preventive care at Distinctive Smiles, and he can be reached for more information through his website.