If you were to randomly ask someone on the street if they enjoy going to the dentist, you likely wouldn’t get a positive response. This is often because of past negative experiences with a dentist which leads us to neglect our dental health.

Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that there is an intimate connection between our oral health and full body health. Neglecting our teeth will eventually catch up with us in a variety of ways, so it’s important to understand why taking care of your teeth helps take care of your body.

The Mouth/Body Connection

Most systems in your body are teeming with good bacteria, and the mouth is no exception. Additionally, the mouth is a gateway to the rest of the systems in your body, including your respiratory and digestive tracts, and bad bacteria can spread from your mouth to other areas in the body if left unchecked and untreated.

When we take proper care of our teeth, which includes proper brushing, flossing, and making regular trips to the dentist, we reduce the number of bad bacteria present, thus reducing the chances that an infection may develop. Neglecting to take proper care of the mouth, teeth, and gums results in the buildup of plaque and bacteria, which can lead to oral infections such as gingivitis and periodontal disease. Over time, these diseased tissues can spread harmful bacteria to other parts of your body, resulting in the development of other chronic conditions.

What Diseases Are Linked To Poor Oral Health?

There is an astonishing amount of evidence linked to poor oral health and a host of adverse conditions in the body, including:

  • Endocarditis: This is an infection of the inner lining of the heart which affects its ability to function properly to circulate blood throughout the body. The entire cardiovascular system becomes overtaxed as the heart struggles to keep up with circulating blood, taking a toll on the entire body.
  • Cardiovascular disease: Poor circulation can, over time, lead to the build-up of plaque in the arteries, which leads to cardiovascular disease. Heart disease, stroke, and even heart attacks are all associated with cardiovascular disease, so it’s imperative to keep your teeth in check to reduce inflammation that can lead to these problems.
  • Respiratory issues: Bacteria that are present in the mouth for too long can quickly spread to the lungs, causing infections, asthmatic conditions, and other breathing problems. Pneumonia is another common complication of respiratory distress that can occur as a result of excess bacteria in the lungs.

The Cyclical Effect

The health of one system can most certainly affect the other; diseases in the body can affect the healing of oral tissues as well. Diseases like HIV, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease all have an effect on the mouth. In thie case, tissues are slower to heal, and they may not get the care and attention needed to maintain optimal health. Again, being proactive about oral health management will help you to manage any other conditions present in your body, and vice versa.

What Can I Do To Prevent Oral Degeneration?

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure; following certain oral health care steps both at home and with your dental care provider will ensure that you proactively manage the health of your entire body. Follow these steps for excellent health:

  • Brush and floss daily
  • Use an ADA approved toothpaste containing fluoride
  • Use mouthwash that will wash away excess debris and bacteria
  • Eat a diet rich in whole foods with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Avoid sticky, sugary, or overly-acidic foods
  • Make regular trips to your dentist for proactive care

Beckett Dental Care: Premium Oral Health Care

At Beckett dental care, we care about not only your smile but your total health and wellness. We know that proactive dental care can dramatically improve your health, so trust us to partner with you as you pursue vibrant energy and a dazzling and healthy smile. We will work with you to design a comprehensive dental plan that will improve your health and quality of life. Schedule an appointment with us by calling or filling out our online form.