Oral Health and Overall Health Are Related

Oral health is not just important to your mouth, but to your overall health in general. Many people do not realize that there is a connection to what is going on in your mouth that can affect the rest of the body. Your mouth, gums, and teeth may also be providing you valuable clues about other health conditions, so it is important to pay attention to the signs. Getting regular dental care and routine checkups is the first step to ensuring that your oral health is what is should be.

* How Oral Health Problems Can Affect the Body in Other Ways

The mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria. While most of these bacteria pose no threat, sometimes harmful bacteria can take hold and cause common oral and dental problems. While good oral hygiene such as regular brushing and flossing help to keep much of these bacteria under control, sometime it’s not enough. Sometimes other factors influence the overall health of the mouth which can lead to a disruption of the normal balance of bacteria found in the mouth, resulting in such unpleasant conditions as infections in the mouth, gum disease, or tooth decay.

Anytime the balance of the mouth is upset, it makes you more prone to developing these conditions. Certain medications may contribute to this, as well as other factors that reduce the amount of saliva produced in the mouth or compromise the natural protective barriers of the mouth. These circumstances may allow for bacteria from the mouth to enter the bloodstream, causing illness and complications.

* Conditions That May Be Caused by Oral Health Issues

Gum disease has been linked to such conditions as Endocarditis and Cardiovascular disease. The Endocarditis may be a result of bacteria entering your bloodstream during a dental procedure that cuts the gums, or as a direct result of bacteria caused by gum disease. It is also thought that a severe form of gum disease, known as periodontitis, may attribute to heart disease, strokes, and clogging of the arteries

It is especially important for pregnant women to maintain good oral health, as it can actually affect their pregnancy and possibly put the baby at risk. There is a link between having gum disease during pregnancy and premature births, or having a baby with a low birth weight.

* Diseases and Conditions That Cause Oral Health Problems

Aside from diseases and conditions that may be a direct result of poor oral health, there are also cases in which oral health is adversely affected because of a certain condition or disease. In other words, the oral problems are merely signs or symptoms of having a particular condition.

Diabetics commonly develop issues with the gums due to the body’s impaired ability to fight infection like those without diabetes can. People who suffer from Osteoporosis may also be at risk for losing periodontal bone and teeth.

AIDS and HIV positive patients many times exhibit lesions in the mouth as a result of the HIV infection. It is also thought that the immune system disorder known as Sjorgren’s syndrome may possibly be linked to the development of oral problems.

If someone has an eating disorder in which they make themselves throw up in order to try to purge what they have eaten, the repetitive vomiting may also erode the teeth and make it more likely that they will develop oral problems.

* How to Keep a Healthy Mouth

In order to maintain a trouble free mouth, brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least two times per day. Floss every day. Limit sugary drinks and snacks. Replace your toothbrush on a regular basis, ad schedule, and keep, regular dental checkups for cleaning, exams, and x-rays. The mouth serves as a gateway to the rest of the body, so be sure to take good care of it.

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