A healthy smile leads to a healthy body. Your dental health is closely linked to your overall health in lots of ways. And in this blog from Evergreen Dental Co., we’ll discuss why caring for your teeth and gums is so important for protecting your overall health, and preventing common health conditions ranging from Alzheimer’s to heart disease. Let’s get into it!
Your Mouth And Your Body Aren’t Separate - They're Connected In Lots of Ways!
Although dentistry is a separate field from other types of medicine, the distinction between your “oral health” and your “overall health” really is an artificial one. Your entire body is one system, and that includes your mouth, too. Just like your feet, your hands, or your organs, your mouth is an essential part of your body!
That means that there are lots of ways that your oral health can affect the rest of your body, and vice versa. Gum disease can lead to inflammation elsewhere in your body, like your heart. High blood sugar can contribute to gum disease and tooth decay. And tooth loss makes it harder to eat nutritious foods, which can affect your health in lots of other ways.
Need more examples? Let’s dig a little deeper and discuss the top health issues that are connected to your oral health.
Health Issues That Have A Connection To Your Dental Health
There are lots of different health conditions that have been linked with poor oral health. Some of the most well-known links include:
- Alzheimer’s – Although scientists are not sure exactly why, gum disease seems to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. Keeping your mouth healthy may help reduce your risk of this disease.
- Diabetes and pre-diabetes – High blood sugar levels make it harder to control gum disease and tooth decay. And it’s been shown that your body’s natural response to gum disease can actually worsen diabetes and pre-diabetes, too.
- Endocarditis – Endocarditis is a severe inflammation of the heart, usually caused by an infection. Gum disease or tooth infections could cause bacteria to spread into your bloodstream and into your heart, raising your risk of endocarditis.
- Cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke – Due to higher levels of whole-body inflammation, people with gum disease are about 2-3x more likely to suffer a serious cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack or a stroke.
- Pregnancy and birth complications – There is a link between gum disease and premature birth. Studies suggest that up to 18 out of every 100 premature births may be related to untreated gum disease. Premature birth can lead to low birth weight, risk of brain injury, and problems with hearing and vision.
- Pneumonia – If you have infected teeth or gums, there are lots of bacteria in your mouth. It’s possible to inhale these bacteria, and they could end up infecting your lungs, causing pneumonia. For this reason, people with poor oral health have a higher risk of pneumonia, which can be a very serious health problem for people with other lung conditions or compromised immune systems. lungs or immune systems.
Care For Your Body, Care For Your Mouth, And Enjoy A Healthier, Longer Life!
When it comes to the connection between your dental health and your overall health, the above conditions are just the tip of the iceberg. Long story short, you can’t have a healthy body without a healthy mouth, so make sure you prioritize your oral health. Brush regularly, eat a healthy diet, and make sure you come to Evergreen Dental Co. every six months to see Dr. Tariq Jah for preventive care, such as a teeth cleaning and oral exam.
Whether you’re overdue for your next cleaning, you’re new to the area, or you’ve been looking for a new dentist, feel free to contact us online or give us a call at (336) 223-2822 to schedule an appointment. Dr. Jah is always accepting new patients in Greensboro, and is here to help you take control of your oral health.