In your body, since all of the organs are interconnected, your mouth health will impact your overall body health, and vice versa. In this article, we’ll first describe connections between oral health problems and overall body problems. Next, we’ll describe the nutritional and lifestyle decisions you can make to help not only your overall body, but your mouth too!
Health professionals have noticed connections between oral health problems, and other medical problems, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, pneumonia, and pregnancy complications. Gum disease and bacteria in your mouth can lead to clogged arteries and blood clots. Mouth bacteria can also cause inflammation throughout the body, including the arteries. This inflammation can lead to atherosclerotic plaques in the arteries, which can increase your risk of heart attacks or stroke.
Doctors have also found a link between diabetes and gum disease. Diabetes lowers your body’s resistance to infection, thus making your mouth more susceptible to damage. Gum disease may also make it more difficult for you to control diabetes by causing insulin resistance.
Like diabetes, HIV/AIDS can lower your body’s resistance to infection, thus exacerbating gum disease. There are even links between gum disease and pneumonia. If the mouth becomes infected, unhealthy bacteria can get aspirated into the lungs.
Additionally, gum disease is linked to premature and low-weight births. Gum disease can cause the release of toxins throughout the body, which enter the mother’s placenta, and thus cause developmental problems for her baby.
It is important to establish healthy lifestyle and dietary habits for a healthy mouth and body. Nutrition is especially important to both your oral health and overall health. The month of March marks National Nutrition Month, making it the perfect time to implement healthy foods into your diet and spread the word about the benefits of good nutrition! Avoid sugary and acidic foods, as they can be damaging to tooth enamel. Tooth decay occurs when plaque come into contact with sugar, causing acid to harm the teeth. Also, make sure that your body intakes vital nutrients. If you lack certain nutrients, tissues in your mouth will have a more difficult time trying to resist infection. Eat a diet high in vegetables to make your entire body health, and you’ll even reduce your risk of gum disease. Be sure to get proper nutrients into your body. If you’re low on certain nutrients, your mouth may become an acidic environment, which can increase your risk of gum disease.
Links between medications and gum disease have also been found. Hundreds of medications have side effects that include dry mouth. Decongestants, antihistamines, painkillers, and diuretics commonly reduce saliva flow. Saliva is an important part of your oral health because it helps prevent too many bacteria from thriving in your mouth. A dry mouth is more likely to have gum disease and tooth decay. Be sure to stay hydrated!
If you are a smoker, strive to quit the habit. Smoking can cause tooth decay, periodontal disease, and oral cancer.
As you keep your mouth healthy, you’ll keep the rest of your body healthy. Making positive oral health choices will lead to a healthy mouth and body!
Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment and consultation.
Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Van. Dr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.