Your oral health is more important than you might realize.
Mouth, teeth and gums can affect your general health. Problems in your mouth can affect the rest of your body.
Your oral health offers clues about your overall health. Oral health is essential to overall health and well-being at every stage of life.
A healthy mouth enables not only nutrition of the physical body, but also enhances your personality and promotes self-esteem and feeling of well-being.
Like many areas of the body, our mouths house complex ecosystems of bacteria. However, without proper oral hygiene, bacteria can reach levels that might lead to oral infections, such as gum disease and tooth decay.
There is a significant link between one’s oral health and overall health. Researchers have known for quite some time that the mouth is connected to the rest of the body.
Pathogenic bacteria initiate periodontal disease and inflammation caused by the bacteria destroys the tissue.
Oral conditions have an impact on overall health and disease. Dentists in India routinely counsel their patients about maintaining their oral health as bacteria from the mouth can cause infection in other parts of the body as all the bacteria travels from the gums and create havoc in the body (e.g., infective endocarditis).
The mouth serves as a mirror to the rest of the body, providing signals of general health disorders.
For example, mouth lesions may be the first signs of HIV infection, pale and bleeding gums can be a marker for blood disorders, aphthous ulcers are occasionally a manifestation of Coeliac disease or Crohn’s disease, changes in tooth appearance can indicate anorexia or bulimia and bone loss in the lower jaw can be an early indicator of skeletal osteoporosis.
Systemic conditions and their treatment are also known to impact on oral health (e.g. decongestants, painkillers, antihistamines, antidepressants and diuretics can reduce saliva flow).
Saliva washes away food and neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in the mouth, helping to protect you from microbial invasion or overgrowth that might lead to disease.
The mouth can act as a portal of entry for an infection. Periodontal disease has been associated with a number of systemic conditions.
Ongoing inflammation in your mouth can allow bacteria to enter the bloodstream, which may lead to more inflammation in other parts of your body, such as the heart.
Gum disease has long been known as the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. But the damage isn’t confined to the mouth. Gum disease’s effects throughout the body and has also been associated with an increased risk of serious degenerative diseases.
Dentists in dental clinics in Delhi aim to ensure your teeth and gums are clean and healthy, and check for abnormalities that could be a sign of larger health issues.
The effects of periodontal disease range from mild redness and swelling of the gums (gingivitis) to complete destruction of the tooth’s bony support structure (advanced periodontitis), which is responsible for tooth loss.
Gum disease is the most common chronic inflammatory condition in the world, yet it’s often a silent disease.
There’s a synergic relationship between oral health and overall wellness. Gum disease is linked to a host of illnesses including heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, stroke, bacterial pneumonia and pregnancy outcomes (preterm births and low-birth weight babies).
Your mouth is the entry point of many bacteria. Oral health problems can cause more than just pain and suffering. Dentists in Delhi are making a conscious effort in educating their patients about the relation between oral and systemic health.
Oral Health and Diabetes
Doctors have known for years that type 2 diabetics and gum disease are interconnected.
People with higher levels of periodontal disease have a risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Some studies point to a reciprocal relationship between gum disease and diabetes. When you treat and control diabetes, immediately the condition in the mouth improves. And when you treat periodontal disease, the need for insulin is reduced.
Oral Health and Heart Disease
There is a correlation between oral disease and heart function.
Research suggests that people with periodontal disease are nearly three times as likely to suffer from heart disease.
Bad bacteria from an infected mouth may lodge itself inside blood vessels, ultimately causing dangerous blockages/clots.
Hardened (swollen) arteries are a symptom of heart disease and decrease the flow of blood to your heart, which can lead to a heart attack or a stroke.
In other words, the more bacteria you have in your mouth, the more bacteria you could have in your heart.
If you address your oral health, you may decrease the number of bacteria that could be present in your heart. Aggressive treatment of gum disease reduces its incidence within six months.
Oral health and Pregnancy Complications
People neglect their oral care during pregnancy, since they have much on their minds.
Research shows that gum disease or inflammation in the mouth possibly triggers an increase in a chemical compound called prostaglandin, which induces early labor.
A study found that pregnant women with periodontal disease are seven times more likely to deliver a premature, low-birth-weight baby.
Pneumonia and Gum Disease
There has been a link established between poor oral health and pneumonia.
The lungs are very close to the mouth. Even in a healthy mouth there are lots of bacteria, but bacteria in a not-healthy mouth can get aspirated into the lungs, causing pneumonia or aggravating COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder.
The good news is that moderate to severe periodontal disease is treatable. Visit your dentist as soon as an oral health problem arises. Taking care of your oral health is an investment in your overall health.
Ways which either help to prevent bacterial infection or reduce inflammation, are still the best ways to reduce your risk of gum disease.
Don’t smoke- People who smoke are almost three times as likely as nonsmokers to have periodontitis.
Have regular dental check-ups and cleaning to remove bacteria-harboring plaque and to spot the first signs of periodontal disease.
Treat any signs of gum disease as early as possible
Maintaining good oral health has many rewards, a sparkling smile, fresh breath, and healthy gums. But it may have an even greater benefit to your overall health.
A clean mouth will lead to a clean body, although you clean your mouth every day but regular checkups to the dentist will prevent your risk for a number of systemic diseases.
Taking care of your teeth isn’t just about having a nice smile and pleasant breath. The condition of your mouth is closely tied to your overall health.
Maintaining good oral hygiene is the best way to avoid oral problems.
But if problems occur, don’t wait. The sooner we begin treatment, the better your chances for controlling gum disease and perhaps systemic diseases too.
Posted by- Dr Shriya