The Connection Between Your Oral Health and Your Overall Health
Your oral health and your overall health are closely linked, and poor oral hygiene can have negative effects on your overall well-being. Here are some of the connections between your oral health and your overall health:
- Heart disease: Studies have shown a link between gum disease and an increased risk of heart disease. The bacteria that cause gum disease can enter the bloodstream and contribute to the development of atherosclerosis, a condition in which plaque builds up in the arteries, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
- Diabetes: People with diabetes are more prone to gum disease, and gum disease can make it harder to control blood sugar levels. This creates a two-way relationship, where poorly controlled diabetes can lead to gum disease, and gum disease can make it harder to control blood sugar levels, making diabetes harder to manage.
- Respiratory infections: Bacteria from the mouth can be inhaled into the lungs, leading to respiratory infections such as pneumonia. This is particularly true for people with compromised immune systems, such as the elderly or those with chronic respiratory conditions.
- Pregnancy complications: Pregnant women with gum disease are at increased risk of delivering preterm or low birth weight babies, as the bacteria from the gums can enter the bloodstream and cause inflammation throughout the body.
- Digestive problems: Poor oral hygiene can lead to the buildup of harmful bacteria in the mouth and throat, which can lead to digestive problems such as acid reflux, gastritis, and stomach ulcers.
Overall, maintaining good oral hygiene is essential for good overall health. This includes brushing and flossing regularly, visiting the dentist for check-ups and cleanings, and eating a healthy diet low in sugar and processed foods.