A good oral hygiene routine can keep your mouth healthy and help prevent dental decay and gum disease. Today, our North Battleford dentists explain why good oral health is essential to your overall health as well.
Practicing good oral hygiene is linked to better overall oral health. By being consistent with brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist for professional cleanings and exams, not only are your teeth likely to stay in good shape, but you could be helping to prevent some other serious health issues as well.
Dental Plaque’s Link to Common Conditions
Having a healthy mouth may help you ward off certain diseases and medical problems such as stroke, heart attack, complications related to diabetes, and even pre-term labour.
Dental Plaque & Infection
Your mouth houses over 500 species of bacteria that are constantly forming dental plaque, a sticky, colourless film that clings to your teeth and causes a variety of health problems.
If you don’t routinely brush and floss your teeth dental plaque can build up between your gums and teeth, eventually leading to a gum infection called gingivitis. Left unchecked, gingivitis can lead to a more serious infection called periodontitis (gum disease).
If you have periodontitis, simply undergoing a dental treatment or just brushing your teeth can provide a port of entry for the abundant bacteria in your mouth to enter your bloodstream.
If your immune system is healthy, the presence of oral bacteria in your bloodstream will not cause problems. However, if it has been weakened, for example by a disease or by cancer treatment, oral bacteria in your bloodstream may cause you to develop an infection in another part of your body.
Poorly Controlled Diabetes
Chronic gum disease may make diabetes more difficult to control. The infection may cause insulin resistance, which can disrupt blood sugar control.
Bacteria in the mouth may cause inflammation throughout the body, including the arteries, meaning gingivitis may play a role in clogged arteries and blood clots.
In addition, gum disease may contribute to the development of plaques in the carotid artery, an infection called infective endocarditis.
Also Important: A Healthy Salivary Flow
Saliva can help disable bacteria and viruses before they enter your system. In fact, saliva is one of your body’s main defences against disease-causing organisms.
Saliva contains antibodies that attack viral pathogens, such as the common cold and even HIV. It also contains enzymes that destroy bacteria in several different ways, for instance by degrading bacterial membranes, disrupting vital bacterial enzyme systems, and inhibiting the growth and metabolism of some bacteria.
The easiest way to keep a healthy salivary flow is to stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.