The Connection Between Oral Health and Overall Health
Most people understand the importance of maintaining good oral health to prevent cavities, gum disease, and other dental problems. However, many people are not aware of the strong connection between oral health and overall health. Recent studies have shown that poor oral hygiene can have serious consequences on other areas of the body. In this blog, we'll discuss the connection between oral health and overall health.
The Oral-Systemic Connection
The mouth is the gateway to the body, and it's connected to other areas of the body through the bloodstream. When harmful bacteria in the mouth are not properly removed through regular brushing, flossing, and dental cleanings, they can travel through the bloodstream and cause inflammation in other parts of the body. This inflammation can contribute to a wide range of health problems, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and even cancer.
Heart Disease and Stroke
Studies have found that people with gum disease are more likely to have heart disease and stroke. Researchers believe that the bacteria that cause gum disease can enter the bloodstream and contribute to the development of plaque in the arteries. This can lead to atherosclerosis, a condition in which the arteries become narrowed and hardened, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
People with diabetes are more susceptible to gum disease, and gum disease can also make it more difficult to control blood sugar levels. This is because the bacteria in the mouth can cause inflammation, which can make it harder for the body to use insulin effectively.
Recent studies have found a link between oral bacteria and the development of certain types of cancer, including pancreatic cancer, kidney cancer, and blood cancers. Although more research is needed to understand the exact connection, it's clear that maintaining good oral hygiene can help reduce the risk of these cancers.
Pregnant women with gum disease are more likely to have premature births and low birth weight babies. This is because the bacteria in the mouth can enter the bloodstream and cause inflammation in the uterus, which can trigger premature labor.
In conclusion, maintaining good oral hygiene is not just important for preventing dental problems, but it's also crucial for overall health. By brushing and flossing regularly, visiting the dentist for regular checkups and cleanings, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you can help reduce the risk of many health problems and improve your overall wellbeing. If you have concerns about your oral health, be sure to schedule an appointment with your dentist today.