Most people know that oral health is important for a number of reasons: avoiding cavities, having fresh breath, and looking good when you smile. But what many people don’t realize is that your oral health and overall health is linked in a number of ways.
In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most surprising ways that oral health impacts our overall well-being. We’ll also discuss tips to help you maintain a healthy mouth as part of a holistic approach to staying healthy.
Periodontal (Gum) Disease
One of the most common links between oral health and overall health is periodontal (gum) disease. Periodontal disease is an inflammation of the gums caused by bacteria in plaque. Over time, this can cause the gums to separate from the teeth and allow infection and bacteria to enter the bloodstream.
Once in the blood, these bacteria can travel and cause inflammation throughout the body, leading to a variety of health problems. In fact, research shows that periodontal disease may increase your risk of developing something as serious as heart disease.
Gum Disease and Respiratory Illness
Another surprising link between oral health and overall health is the potential connection between gum disease and respiratory illnesses. Some studies have shown that people with periodontal disease are more likely to suffer from respiratory illnesses such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema. This may be due to the bacteria entering the lungs and causing infection.
Oral health is also linked to overall health in the sense of nutrition. See, when you don’t have healthy teeth and gums, it can be hard to eat certain types of healthy foods, like raw vegetables, fruits with skins and seeds, and even certain proteins. As a result, you may be missing out on the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay healthy.
Tips for Good Oral Health
Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can take to maintain a healthy mouth as part of a holistic approach to staying healthy.
- Brush and floss every day: It is important to brush your teeth at least twice a day, for two minutes each time, with a dentist-recommended toothpaste. You should also floss at least once a day.
- Visit your dentist and dental hygienist regularly: Be sure to visit a dentist and dental hygienist every six months for routine check-ups and cleanings. This will help detect any problems early and allow your dentist to address them before they become serious.
- Avoid smoking: Smoking not only causes tooth discoloration, it can also lead to gum disease, cancer, and other health problems.
- Eat a healthy diet: Eating a balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables will help keep your teeth and gums healthy.
- Drink plenty of water: Staying hydrated helps to flush out bacteria and reduce the risk of plaque buildup.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, there are a number of links between your oral health and overall health. By taking the steps outlined above to maintain healthy teeth and gums, you can decrease your risk of developing a variety of health problems. Ultimately, this will help ensure that you are able to maintain the highest level of overall health possible.
Looking for a holistic approach to maintaining your oral health? We’d be happy to help! Click here to get in touch with Hale Wellness Dental Studio, and book your appointment today.