Good oral health is linked to overall health and well-being. Poor oral health has been associated with various systemic conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and respiratory issues. In this article, we’ll guide you through the connection between and how the former impacts your standard of living. Talk to our dentist in Bridlewood for more information!
The Importance of Oral Health
Your oral cavity encompasses the mouth, teeth and gums and plays an essential role in your overall well-being. Some of the biggest reasons you need to prioritize it on a daily basis include:
- Oral disease prevention – Frequently brushing your teeth, flossing them and attending regular dental appointments, help prevent serious diseases from forming, such as tooth decay, periodontal disease and halitosis (bad breath).
- Proper chewing and digestion – Healthy teeth and gums are essential for proper chewing and digestion. Teeth help break down food into smaller pieces that are easier for your body to absorb. Poor dental care can lead to difficulties in chewing and impact digestion negatively.
- Speech – Teeth play a crucial role in speech production. Problems with missing or misaligned teeth can affect speech clarity. Maintaining strong oral health supports effective communication.
- Aesthetics – Maintaining a good smile contributes to confidence and overall appearance. Healthy teeth and gums enhance facial aesthetics and can boost self-esteem.
- Finances – Regular oral care is a preventative measure that helps address issues in earlier stages. Not addressing issues early on and allowing them to grow can be costly in the long run. Taking care of things with cheaper treatments is much better than paying more for more invasive procedures.
The Connection Between Oral Health and Overall Health
The mouth is the primary route for nutrients and other essential minerals, as well as some medications to enter our body. It is also home to millions of bacteria. Some are beneficial, and some can be harmful and enter the bloodstream through inflamed or diseased gums. This can spread to other parts of the body, leading to infections and complicating existing issues.
Poor oral hygiene, and infrequent dental cleanings and exams near you, can contribute to the development of non-oral conditions. Some of these issues that can arise are as follows:
- Cardiovascular disease – Gum disease has been associated with an increased risk of heart disease due to bacteria and inflammation associated with gum disease contributing to the development of heart disease, clogged arteries and an increased risk of stroke and heart attacks.
- Diabetes – Individuals with diabetes are more susceptible to gum disease, and if left untreated, it can make it difficult to control blood sugar levels.
- Respiratory infections – Neglected oral hygiene can lead to the growth of harmful bacteria in the mouth. The bacteria can find their way into the lungs, potentially contributing to issues like pneumonia.
- Dementia – While further conclusive studies are still needed, gum disease has been associated with a higher risk of cognitive decline and dementia in older adults.
- Pregnancy complications – Gum disease has been associated with premature birth, low birth weight and preeclampsia (postpartum hypertension).
- Arthritis – The inflammation associated with gum disease may exacerbate the progression of rheumatoid arthritis.
- Osteoporosis – Periodontal bone deterioration and tooth loss are associated with this condition, which weakens the bones.
Things that Affect Oral Health and Overall Health
Being able to live happily, freely, and without any pain or discomfort is something that we all deserve. In order to do this, there are a few habits that are important to regularly engage in.
- Oral health – Sugary and acidic foods increase the risk of tooth decay as they contribute to the growth of harmful bacteria and tooth enamel erosion.
- General health – Nutrient deficiencies can affect the immune system, bone health, and overall well-being.
- Oral health – Exercise promotes blood circulation, including to the gums, which helps maintain gum health.
- General health – Exercise is known to have numerous health benefits, such as improving cardiovascular health, maintaining a healthy weight, reducing the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease, and boosting mental well-being.
- Oral health – Chronic stress can contribute to poor oral health. Stress can lead to behaviours like teeth grinding or clenching (bruxism), which can cause tooth wear, jaw pain, and headaches.
- General health – Prolonged or chronic stress can weaken the immune system, increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, disrupt sleep patterns, and impact mental health.
Steps to Maintain Good Oral Health and General Health
- Brush twice a day – Ideally, you would brush in the morning and at bedtime.
- Floss Daily – This is to remove plaque and particles from between the teeth and along the gumline.
- Use Mouthwash – Rinsing with an antimicrobial mouthwash will help kill bacteria and freshen your breath.
- Eat Healthy – Limit your intake of sugary and acidic foods and beverages as they can contribute to tooth decay and other health ailments like diabetes. Drinking plenty of water while eating a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables will help overall oral health.
- Visit a dentist near you regularly – Schedule biannual dental cleanings and check-ups in Bridlewood. Dentists can detect and address oral issues early on before anything requires serious treatment. Getting the hard tartar removed from your teeth is also imperative for good oral hygiene.
- Avoid smoking/vaping – Smoking and vaping significantly increase the risk of oral health problems such as gum disease, oral cancer and tooth loss.
- Limit alcohol – Excessive alcohol can lead to dry mouth, which is not helpful since saliva is an agent that helps protect teeth. It can also weaken the immune system, making fighting off infection harder.
Ready to Book Your Next Dental Appointment in Bridlewood?
Are you concerned about good oral health and are looking to book a dental check-up in SW Calgary? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at EverSmile Dental. The earlier an issue can be detected, then the better off you will be.
Contact us today to get started with our oral health journey. We anticipate your next visit very much!