Oral Health is Overall Health

May 16, 2021
Avatar for Kelley MingusKelley Mingus

You probably already know what maintaining your oral health will do for your mouth. It will protect your teeth from cavities and prevent illnesses like gum disease. But did you also know that protecting your oral health can protect the health of your entire body? It’s true. Poor oral health can harm more than just your mouth. Here are just a few ways that not protecting your teeth and gums can cause serious damage to your entire body.

Inflammation

Inflammation occurs when bacteria from the mouth enter the gum tissue and get into the bloodstream. In addition to causing gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis, these bacteria have been found in certain parts of the brain in Alzheimer’s patients and surrounding the heart in heart attack and heart disease patients. It has also been found in abundance in the mouths of people with rheumatoid arthritis and early rheumatoid arthritis (RA and ERA).

Cavities

Though cavities are localized to just your mouth, they can have a serious negative impact on your entire body. Pain chewing can cause difficulties eating, sleeping, and focusing. Dental cavities are the most common childhood illness, causing millions of missed school days each year.

Gum Disease

Gingivitis is an early-stage gum disease that is reversible with diligent gum repair, while periodontitis is a more advanced form of gum disease which requires more intervention. Gum diseases can cause everything from complications to pre-existing conditions, to inflammation and even bone and gum tissue loss. In severe cases, tooth loss and portions of the jaw may need to be removed if periodontitis is not addressed.

What you can do to protect your oral health

Brush and Floss

Brush and floss your teeth every day. Brush twice per day for a minimum of two minutes each time, and floss once a day minimum, preferably at night.

Don’t Smoke

Smoking is bad for your teeth, gums, heart, lungs, brain, and the list goes on. If you don’t smoke, don’t start, and if you do, speak to your doctor about a smoking cessation program.

Limit Alcohol

Excessive alcohol drinking is bad for your teeth and gums, as well as your throat. It has even been found to cause oral and throat cancer.

Come Say Hi

Don’t forget your annual or bi-annual cleaning with Dr. Mingus. Dental cleanings not only clean unsightly tartar from your teeth, but they also give you an oral health checkup and make sure everything is looking good in your mouth. If it’s not, Dr. Mingus can provide treatment options and get your oral health back to optimal as soon as possible.

Remember, caring for your mouth goes far beyond just your teeth and gums, so be sure to care for your health by brushing and flossing every day! I