Dental Care Is Connected to Your Overall Health

Your teeth and gums may not seem like they have any connection to your overall health, but the opposite is true. In fact, your oral health can have an effect on the rest of your body in many ways. Neglecting oral hygiene can have devastating consequences on overall health, potentially increasing the risk of severe conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Read on and see the connection between dental care and overall health.

Gum Disease and Heart Disease

Recently, research has found that gum disease, known as periodontitis, is linked to various health problems, including heart disease. Gum disease leads to inflammation in the gums, which can potentially affect the entire body. The inflammation can trigger the body's immune system, which, in turn, can lead to hardening in the arteries and making the body more prone to heart disease.

Respiratory System and Oral Health

Oral bacteria also play a role in the respiratory system and can cause lung infections such as pneumonia. Pneumonia can develop when harmful oral bacteria are inhaled into the lungs. This usually happens when the bacteria accumulates in the mouth and it bypasses the body's natural defense by the immune system. Preventing oral infection by brushing and flossing is essential in keeping your lungs healthy.

Poor Oral Health and Pregnancy

Proper dental care during pregnancy is vital for the well-being of expectant mothers as well as the health of their unborn babies. Bacteria originating from gum disease have the capability to migrate to the placenta, resulting in inflammation. This inflammatory response may contribute to the occurrence of premature labor or lead to the development of infants with low birth weight. Pregnant women should visit a dentist regularly, especially if they're experiencing a particular dental issue.

The Effect of Medication on Your Oral Health

Medications prescribed for chronic conditions like high blood pressure, anxiety, and depression can lead to dry mouth. A dry mouth makes it challenging to produce enough saliva, which helps neutralize harmful bacteria's effect in the mouth. This causes bacterial growth, which affects the enamel of your teeth.

Your oral health is not solely about your teeth and gums. It is also about influencing your overall health. A significant benefit of good oral hygiene is preventing serious issues that can affect the rest of your body. To protect your overall health, it is necessary to take care of your teeth and gums. Get regular cleanings, brush twice a day, floss daily, and pay attention to any oral symptoms. By doing so, you can keep your smile healthy and your body healthier.

Contact a local dentist to learn more.