April 10, 2020
How Poor Oral Health Can Affect Your Overall Health
Oral health is about so much more than just the health of the mouth, teeth, and gums.
Although you probably understand that poor dental care can lead to cavities, did you know that other, more serious health problems can also result from poor oral care?
The truth is that if you don’t take proper care of your teeth, you could face far more serious consequences than a simple toothache or some unsightly stains.
What’s the connection between oral health and overall health?
Like other areas of the body, your mouth teems with bacteria — mostly harmless. But your mouth is the entry point to your digestive and respiratory tracts, and some of these bacteria can cause disease.
Normally the body’s natural defenses and good oral health care, such as daily brushing and flossing, keep bacteria under control. However, without proper oral hygiene, bacteria can reach levels that might lead to oral infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease.
How can I protect my oral health?
To protect your oral health, practice good oral hygiene daily.
1. Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled brush using fluoride toothpaste.
2. Floss daily.
3. Use mouthwash to remove food particles left after brushing and flossing.
4. Eat a healthy diet and limit food with added sugars.
5. Replace your toothbrush every three months or sooner if bristles are splayed or worn.
6. Schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings.
7. Avoid tobacco use.
Oral health is an indicator of overall health. Taking care to prevent oral health problems like gingivitis and periodontal disease can go a long way toward decreasing the risk for more serious health problems throughout the body.
Also, contact your dentist as soon as an oral health problem arises. Taking care of your oral health is an investment in your overall health.