Your family dentist wants you to know that your oral health and overall health are closely connected. Taking good care of your teeth does so much more for you than just preventing cavities. Below are the 5 most important things to know about the connections between your oral health and overall health.
Heart Health Regular brushing and flossing is the first step in preventing plaque buildup. Plaque harbors harmful bacteria that can cause gum disease, cavities, and…heart disease. When those bacteria travel from your mouth, through your bloodstream, to the lining of your heart, it can lead to endocarditis (infection of the inner heart lining) and heart disease.
Alzheimer’s Disease Adults typically lose teeth due to a lack of good oral hygiene habits. These poor habits weaken the gums, making them an unstable platform for the teeth. Experts have found a connection between tooth loss before age 35 and developing Alzheimer’s and/or dementia later in life.
Low Birth Weight Gum disease has been linked to premature births and low birth weight. Expectant mothers must be especially diligent about their oral health to ensure their baby’s health.
Immune Deficiency Diseases including diabetes and HIV/AIDS weaken the immune system and make a person more susceptible to oral health problems such as gum disease and oral lesions. In addition, people with gum disease are often less able to control their blood sugar, which may indicate a direct connection between gum disease and diabetes.
Medications Use of medications such as painkillers, antihistamines, and decongestants can cause the salivary glands to slow down production. This reduces the mouth’s natural ability to wash away food particles and protect the teeth and gums from bacteria build-up.
These are just a few reasons why your family dentist stresses the importance of good oral hygiene. Follow these simple guidelines to avoid cavities, gum disease, and the problems explained above:
- Brush twice a day, and replace your toothbrush every few months and after an illness.
- Floss at least once a day.
- Visit your family dentist regularly, and call your family dentist as soon as you suspect an oral health problem.
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet.
- Avoid between-meal snacks.
Call the office of your family dentist, Dr. Loper, at 614-864-7731 to make an appointment for your next check-up. Our friendly office staff can also answer many of your questions about oral health, available services, and more. Isn’t your health worth it?