Oral health can have a significant effect on your general wellbeing.
Did you know that your oral health can give you important clues about your overall state of wellbeing? Similarly, are you aware of the specific impact that certain ailments and conditions can have on your oral health?
Read on to learn more about the close relationship that exists between oral health and general wellbeing.
What is the relationship between oral health and overall health?
On a daily basis, your mouth comes into contact with a huge range and number of bacteria. As your mouth and gum system (known as the gingiva) is a literal gateway to other important areas of the body – such as your endocrine system, and your digestive and respiratory tracts – the importance of keeping these bacteria under control becomes clear.
Although an effective oral hygiene routine can achieve this, studies show that when serious oral health issues occur — such as tooth decay and gum disease — these can lead to chronic medical conditions.
What conditions can be caused by poor oral health?
Poor oral health can lead to some serious medical conditions — especially if gum disease is allowed to develop.
Endocarditis is an infection of the lining of your heart chambers or valves, often caused by bacteria and infections from your mouth travelling through your bloodstream to your heart. Cardiovascular disease, and related complications such as clogged arteries, have also been linked to the spread of oral bacteria. Your lungs can also draw in bacteria from your mouth, causing pneumonia and other respiratory tract issues, and periodontitis (serious gum infection) has been linked to pregnancy and birth complications.
What conditions can lead to poor oral health?
It is important to remember that your oral health can also give you important insights into your general state of wellness. If you suffer from poor oral health despite maintaining a good healthcare routine, this could be indicative of an underlying condition.
Some underlying medical issues that can negatively affect your oral health include diabetes, which reduces the body’s resistance to gum infection, and osteoporosis, which is linked to tooth loss and weakening of the jaw bones. HIV/AIDS can cause mucosal lesions within the mouth, and the onset of Alzheimer’s disease is also directly associated with declining oral health.
However, bear in mind that certain medications can also impact your oral health. Saliva plays a crucial role in washing away food particles and neutralising acids in the mouth. Many medications, including decongestants, antidepressants and painkillers, have the side-effect of restricting saliva flow.
Is my oral healthcare routine effective?
Any solid oral health routine includes brushing twice a day; flossing every day to remove stubborn food particles; using antibacterial mouthwash before bed; refraining from too many sugary snacks and acidic foods; and stopping smoking, if applicable.
If you follow a routine like this, yet still find yourself suffering from oral health complaints, then consult your dentist to get expert feedback on what might be causing the issue.
Regular dental check-ups are the most effective way to monitor and maintain your oral health in the long term. Your dentist will be able to detect any concerns and provide treatment before they turn into bigger, more general health problems.
How can we help?
At Somerset Dental, we believe that oral health is vital to general wellbeing, and so an investment in dental treatment is an investment in your future health. Our practice is built on the skills, knowledge and expertise of highly-experienced professionals. We offer check-ups and evaluations to ensure optimal dental health so that invasive and expensive treatments can be avoided. For more information about our preventative dental treatments, please read more here.
Somerset Dental, a Camden Local Business Awards Winner, provides world-class dental care in a comfortable environment. We are a tight-knit team and will work with you to ensure that you have the best experience possible while in the care of our friendly dentists. To come in and see our friendly and experienced staff, please get in touch here.
In addition to its preventative oral care treatments, Somerset Dental also offers a comprehensive range of restorative, cosmetic and children’s dentistry services. To find out how we can help you achieve optimal dental health and to view the full range of treatments on offer, please read more here.