oral health affects overall health

Calender Icon   February 5, 2020

How Your Oral Health Affects the Overall Health and Vice Versa

Your dental health provides a thick clue about your overall general health. In alternate words, the issues in your mouth can affect your overall health and wellbeing. Thus, Dr Siavash Mirfendereski – an experienced dentist based in London and associated with the Wimpole Dental Office – emphasises on learning more about the connection between your oral health and overall physical health.

Connection between your general health and dental health

Just like many other areas of your body, your mouth is also home for various kinds of bacteria. Most of these microbes are harmless, however, some that are harmful can easily get into your respiratory and digestive tracks through the mouth and cause diseases. The combined effect of your natural immune system and sound oral hygiene methods like proper brushing and flossing keeps the bacteria in your mouth under control.

In lack of proper dental hygiene, the harmful bacteria are known to reach levels that can create oral health issues like gum disease and tooth decay. On the other hand, certain medications like – analgesics or painkillers, antihistamines, decongestants, antidepressants, diuretics to name a few – may reduce the saliva flow in the mouth. Saliva plays a major role in neutralising the effect of acids produced by harmful bacteria in the mouth. In other words, saliva significantly contributes to keeping your mouth healthy and disease-free.

Studies reveal that periodontitis or gum disease triggers many chronic health conditions like diabetes and heart disease. Gum disease also increases the risk of stroke. On the other hand, certain health conditions like HIV, AIDS and diabetes lower the natural immunity of your body. As a result of which your mouth becomes less resistant to diseases and infections and you succumb to oral health issues more easily.

Oral health conditions that are known to affect your overall general health and wellbeing

When your oral health quotient is poor, you are at a higher risk to suffer from a range of chronic health conditions including the following:

  • Endocarditis: The condition involves infection in the inner lining of the heart chambers or the valves. It occurs when harmful bacteria from the mouth gets into the bloodstream and build colonies in certain regions of the heart.
  • Cardiovascular diseases: Inflammation and infection of the gums caused by certain oral bacteria are responsible for causing clogged arteries that can lead to heart disease and strokes.
  • Complications during pregnancy and birth of child: Pregnant women suffering from periodontitis are always at a higher risk to give premature birth with abnormally low birth weight.
  • Pneumonia: Certain harmful bacteria spread to your lung from the mouth causing respiratory diseases like pneumonia.
  • Diabetes: Patients suffering from diabetes are more likely to develop gum disease and vice versa. Routine periodontal care is essential to keep diabetes under check.
  • HIV or AIDS: People who are HIV positive or suffer from AIDS are also found to suffer from oral problems like painful mucosal lesions.
  • Osteoporosis: This is a disease that weakens and damages the bones and it is often found to be associated with both natural tooth loss and loss of periodontal bones.   
  • Alzheimer’s disease: As the Alzheimer’s disease progresses, a patient develops severe oral health conditions.

In addition to the general health conditions mentioned above, poor oral health is often found to be linked to other general health issues like certain types of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, eating and immune system disorders.

It is important that your dentist knows the medicines you take and the changes that occur in your general health. For more information, please feel free to contact our dentist at Wimpole Dental Office.

Tips on oral health protection

In order to protect your dental health, you should follow the following tips:

  • Brush the teeth properly twice daily using fluoride toothpaste and a toothbrush with soft bristles.
  • Properly floss the teeth every day.
  • Rinse the mouth with a medicated mouthwash to remove food debris that remain after brushing and flossing.
  • Stick to a healthy diet, rich in fresh fruits, crunchy green vegetables and sufficient dairy products.
  • Limit sugary drinks and food items.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Visit your dentist at regular intervals.

Remember that taking proper care of your oral health is more of an investment that will give you a very attractive and healthy smile.

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