For a variety of reasons, most people tend to view oral health and the health of the rest of their bodies as totally separate issues. The truth is, what’s going into your oral care routine can have an effect on what’s coming out on medical exams and testing, and vice versa. Oral health and whole-body health aren’t two separate issues, they’re two sides of the same coin. Your mouth is as much a part of your body as your circulatory system or digestive system, and can have just as big an impact on your overall health.
Why Oral Health Matters at the Doctor’s Office and the Dentist’s Office
While it’s true that dentists don’t tend to have space in hospital or clinic settings, your oral health and whole-body wellness are inextricably linked. Your mouth isn’t just the access point for food and water for your body; it’s also the opening of both your respiratory system and digestive tract. The thriving colony of bacteria in your mouth can affect the rest of your body, as well.
Poor oral health can cause severe mouth pain if damage goes unchecked, but the damage you can see isn’t all that’s being done in some cases. Overgrowth of bacteria in the mouth and gum tissue can spread to the endocardium, or inner lining of your heart. This condition, endocarditis, does have the potential to be life-threatening. Studies also link cardiovascular disease, stroke and clogged arteries to this same overgrowth of oral bacteria, while periodontitis has been linked to low birth weight and premature birth.
On the other hand, problems throughout your body can also wreak havoc on your mouth. Diabetes, for instance, can damage oral health by making you more susceptible to infection in general, including gum disease. Patients with diabetes and gum disease have more difficulty controlling their blood sugar than patients with better oral health, as well.
Protecting Oral Health for Better Overall Wellness
The connection between oral health and overall health cannot be denied, so it’s important to make a point of prioritizing both. In addition to practicing good daily oral hygiene, it’s also vital to make and keep regular dental appointments.
Ready to be more proactive about your oral health and that of the rest of your body in the process? Call Jefferson Dental Care today to schedule an appointment, and to learn more about the connection between oral health and whole-body health.
Posted on behalf of Jefferson Dental Care