4 Surprising Ways Your Oral Health Can Affect Your General Health

4 Surprising Ways Your Oral Health Can Affect Your General Health

April 9, 2021

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Professionals say that your oral health is a window to your general health. Though we all learn as kids the importance of practising good oral hygiene, we may not be aware of how our oral health can impact our overall health—even as adults. A commitment to practising good oral health is a commitment to the rest of your body, too. 

Oral health plays a more significant role in our health than we may think. Achy teeth, bad breath, and bleeding gums are all signs of poor oral health and a signal to visit your dentist St Leonards. The mouth is the main entryway into the body, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that our oral health impacts our body’s general health. 

Our body’s natural defences are not enough to keep bacteria under control, and without good oral hygiene, high bacteria levels can lead to oral infections. Here are common health problems and diseases that are associated with poor oral health. 

Poor oral health increases the risk of heart disease 

Research suggests that poor oral health puts you at risk for heart disease. Gum disease, in particular, is associated with heart disease, according to HealthyPeople.gov. Bacteria can travel into the bloodstream resulting in a build-up of plaque on the arteries. The damage caused by the build-up of plaque can lead to hypertension and increase your risk for strokes.

The brain can suffer a loss of brain cells and memory loss

The National Institutes of Health conducted a study that links gum disease to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Bacteria caused by gum disease can seep into the bloodstream and spread to nerve channels. The transmission can kill brain cells and lead to confusion and memory loss. 

4 Surprising Ways Your Oral Health Can Affect Your General Health

Poor oral health is associated with premature births

Pregnant women may be more prone to gum disease and cavities. Almost 75% of pregnant women develop gingivitis which is an early stage of gum disease. Hormonal changes cause pregnant women to develop oral infections more quickly, which puts a mother at risk of pregnancy complications such as premature birth. 

Bacteria caused by poor oral health can cause pneumonia

How well you practice good hygiene practices can play a role in preventing respiratory diseases and infections. Bacteria from your mouth can be inhaled into your lung or travel through the bloodstream resulting in respiratory problems such as pneumonia. Gum disease can also worsen existing respiratory diseases such as asthma or COPD. 

The health of your teeth and gums plays an essential role in your general health. Oral health is an indicator of your overall health. Taking good care of your oral health can decrease your risk for health problems throughout the body. 

It’s recommended to brush your teeth thoroughly twice a day and floss daily to prevent plaque build-up. Visiting your dentist at least twice a year, limiting sugary foods and alcohol, and not smoking are all good habits to help you maintain good oral health. 

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