Tooth along with a dental mirror

The Link Between Dental Care and Your Overall Health

When you follow a good oral health routine, you can successfully keep bad breath at bay, avoid tooth decay and gum disease, and help save your teeth as you age. On the other hand, if your mouth is unhealthy and you fail to follow good oral hygiene, you can significantly increase your risk for health complications down the line.

The Connection

The mouth is full of bacteria, just like other parts of the body. However, a lot of this bacteria is actually harmless. The mouth is the point of entry for the systems in the body, including the digestive and respiratory tracts and these are areas that can cause certain diseases.

Good oral care is just one of the body’s natural defenses, and this is how we can keep the bacteria under control. To do this, we need to brush and floss regularly and maintain high levels of proper oral hygiene.

Conditions Caused by Oral Health Issues

Did you know that your mouth is a good indicator of what else may be going on in your body? It is a good way to detect certain diseases early on. Diabetes, for example, can manifest itself as mouth lesions or other oral problems.

Cardiovascular disease may be due to clogged arteries, and strokes are linked to inflammation and infections that may be caused by oral bacteria. Pregnancy and birth complications, as the result of periodontitis, have also been noted. This condition has been linked to both premature birth and low birth weight.

Protecting Your Oral Health

Practicing good oral hygiene on a daily basis is one of the best ways you can protect your oral health.

  • Brush your teeth at least twice per day
  • Always use a soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Floss your teeth on a daily basis
  • Use mouthwash as a way to remove stubborn food particles after you brush and floss
  • Follow a healthy diet and limit overly sugary foods and drinks
  • Replace your toothbrush every three months
  • Schedule regular dental cleanings with your dentist
  • Avoid smoking and other tobacco use

If you feel you already have some kind of oral problem, do not hesitate to get in touch with your dentist so they can assess the problem. You don’t want to let these problems linger because they will only become worse and further affect your overall health and well-being.

Healthy Mouth and Healthy Body

Since there is a link between periodontitis and other systemic health problems, prevention is the key to maintaining your physical health. If you notice any of the following signs, you should make an appointment with your dentist immediately:

  • Sore, swollen, or bleeding gums
  • Gums that have begun to pull away from the teeth
  • Loose teeth or separating teeth
  • A change in your bite
  • Persistent bad breath

When discussing these conditions with your dentist, you also want to mention any other changes you have noticed in your overall health as well including any recent illness or chronic health conditions you may have experienced.

Don’t let your oral hygiene fall to the wayside, contact West LA Dentistry and make an appointment today for a healthy mouth and healthy body.

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