Our mouths are the primary gateway into our body’s major systems, including your digestive, respiratory, skeletal, and cardiovascular systems. As a result, an infection in your gums, teeth, or other oral tissues is a serious health risk that has ample opportunity to spread if left unchecked. The easiest way to preserve your general health in addition to proper diet and exercise is to take care of your teeth and gums.
Oral Health and Overall Health
The good news is that your saliva and your enamel do a lot of that work for you. All you have to do is help to maintain the condition of your teeth by brushing twice a day and flossing once a day. Then visit your dentist at Coastland Dental in Burbank every six months to ensure any potential issues are resolved long before they become serious. To provide some perspective on the importance of maintaining your oral health, let’s dive deeper into the connection between your oral health and your general health.
Your Mouth Is Naturally Exposed to Many Bacteria
Our mouths are teeming with bacteria. Many of these bacteria exist as a natural part of our oral ecosystem. But others are introduced externally. When we inhale air, touch our lips, eat, and drink external bacteria can access your teeth, gums, and other oral tissues. Your saliva is designed to help wash debris and bacteria away. But it does not work as a fool-proof system. Any reduction in saliva or particular stubborn foods could make put your teeth and gums at risk.
Brushing helps to remove debris and problematic bacteria from the teeth. Flossing, on the other hand, specifically gets at the places your toothbrush can’t. By flossing properly, you can remove unwanted bacteria from just beneath the gumline and out from between teeth. If you need a little refresher on flossing correctly, just ask your dental hygienist for a quick overview. In fact, many of us never learned the appropriate technique. So it’s never too late to ask.
Chronic Inflammation Is Linked to Cardiovascular Disease
Studies have repeatedly shown a link between gum disease and cardiovascular disease. The dominant theory is that the chronic inflammation triggered by gum disease causes a mild to moderate inflammatory response throughout the body. You see, when your gums become infected, they become inflamed and sensitive. Part of the inflammation is caused by the irritation and part of it is caused by your own immune response.
Unfortunately, current data suggests that the constant inflammation caused by untreated gum disease may actually increase your risk of serious cardiac events. People with gum disease are two to three times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke. Specialists assert that the burden of increased and consistent inflammation over a long period of time can reduce blood flow in key areas, leading to cardiac events. Evidence suggests that gum disease alone is unlikely to cause cardiac events. But if you have any other risk factors it could increase your chance of experiencing a cardiac event.
Poor Oral Health May Negatively Affect Pregnancy
Bacteria in your mouth are capable of negatively affecting pregnancy outcomes. Data shows that mothers with gum disease or generally poor oral health are more likely to go into labor prematurely. The women who do make it to term are also more likely to have underweight babies. Of course, many other factors could contribute to these statistics, but there’s no denying that harmful bacteria in the mother’s mouth have the potential to harm her fetus.
Handling Poor Oral Health
It is never too late to take control of your oral health. A simple trip to your dentist in Burbank is all that it takes to start that journey. Your local dentist can help you to establish better habits and work through any existing medical issues. Even if you think your oral health has fallen too far, don’t give up hope. Your dentist can do a full mouth reconstruction, giving you a true second chance.