What is Mouth-Body Connection?
Oral health is not only important to our appearance and sense of wellbeing but also has an impact on our general health. The health of your mouth, teeth, and gums may affect your overall health. Gum disease and cavities may be associated with other serious health conditions.
Oral Health and Diabetes
Dental problems such as bleeding gums, cavities, dry mouth, and fungal infections may be an indication of other serious medical conditions such as diabetes. Diabetes lowers the body's resistance to infection, increasing the risk of gum disease. Sugar promotes bacterial growth in your mouth, which will destroy the enamel (outer protective layer of a tooth). This can lead to the development of cavities, which could be one of the dental manifestations of diabetes.
Good oral hygiene habits, including frequent professional cleanings, regular brushing and flossing are important to control the progression of gum diseases. Patients with diabetes should appropriately control their blood glucose, and ensure proper care of their gums and teeth to prevent dental problems.
Oral Health and Heart Disease
Some research suggests that poor oral hygiene and gum disease may increase your risk of developing heart diseases. Heart diseases may be linked to oral bacteria, possibly secondary to chronic inflammation from periodontal disease. Certain bacteria could cause inflammation of the heart and circulatory system, causing the narrowing and obstruction of arteries in the heart. Although additional research is needed to understand the relationship between oral health and heart disease, regular brushing and flossing are recommended by your dentist to prevent heart diseases.
Oral Health and Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis, a bone disease characterized by a decrease in bone mass and density may be associated with tooth loss. As the jaw bone that supports and anchors the teeth loses its density, the teeth loosen from their sockets. Periodontal disease causes bone loss around the teeth. Therefore, if you are suffering from osteoporosis, it is important to brush and floss regularly to decrease the risk of tooth loss. Women with osteoporosis are at a greater risk of losing their teeth. Adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D, a healthy diet, and regular exercise can prevent osteoporosis and associated tooth loss.
Oral health and smoking
Smokers are at a greater risk of developing dental problems such as tooth discoloration (stained teeth), tooth loss, gum disease, deep pockets between gums and teeth, plaque buildup, bone loss of the jaw bone, mouth ulcers, and oral cancer.
Quitting smoking and other forms of tobacco can reduce the risk of several oral health problems.