Most know good oral hygiene habits are essential for avoiding expensive and painful dental problems like cavities and gum disease. But did you know your oral health can actually affect other areas of your body? Maintaining healthy gums and a healthy mouth is actually very important for your overall health and longevity.
Researchers have linked poor oral hygiene to a wide range of health disorders including cardiovascular problems, adverse pregnancy outcomes, diabetes, stroke, and even memory problems. This is because gum disease can cause significant inflammation that can place stress on your entire body. While there is still a lot to learn, it’s becoming increasingly clear that oral hygiene plays a major role in maintaining a long, healthy life. Here are five ways good oral health can impact your overall health:
1. Complete Oral Health Helps Eliminate Inflammation
Chronic inflammation is a major side effect of unhealthy or infected gums, which can wreak havoc on your entire body. Inflammation is your immune response to infection. It means your immune system is working overtime to fight bacteria or disease. If you experience chronic inflammation over a long period of time, it can lead to a lot of stress on your body. That stress can lead to many additional side effects including chronic fatigue, headaches, or even high blood pressure. Therefore, it’s critical to manage gum inflammation quickly or do everything possible to prevent it in the first place.
2. Complete Oral Health Could Help Prevent Heart Disease
There is still much to learn about the connection between oral health and cardiovascular health; however, researchers are fairly certain a link exists. There have been multiple studies suggesting gum disease increases your chances of a heart attack and heart disease. Some medical professionals believe the chronic inflammatory response caused by gum disease actually causes inflammatory cells to enter the bloodstream. As these cells make their way to the heart, they could have adverse effects on the cardiovascular system. There is still research to be done, but it is likely that such a connection exists.
4. Complete Oral Health Could Prevent Cognitive Disorders
Researchers believe the inflammatory cells caused by gum disease can also travel to the brain and lead to adverse cognitive conditions as well. Some researchers believe these cells could lead to a slow deterioration of brain function, which may even make patients more likely to develop Alzheimer’s or Dementia when they’re older. While it’s important to remember that a direct correlation hasn’t been established, there is a significant amount of evidence to suggest an association between oral health and cognitive disorders.
5. Complete Oral Health Can Keep You Maintain A Healthy Pregnancy
Good oral hygiene is incredibly important during pregnancy because you’re more susceptible to infection including gum disease. Your immune system is already working overtime to protect you and your baby. If you develop gum disease, the increase in inflammation is more likely to cause side effects, and it can also further weaken your immune system and make you even more vulnerable to disease. If you have gum disease during pregnancy, it’s important to see a dentist or periodontist right away.
6. Complete Oral Health Is Important For Managing Diabetes
While many believe patients with diabetes have a higher risk of developing gum disease, there is also research suggesting gum disease makes it more difficult for diabetics to control blood sugar. Some studies even suggest people with diabetes with gum disease are more likely to have diabetic complications. Therefore, good oral health for diabetics is imperative.
The Connection Between Oral Health And Overall Health
There is still a lot to learn about the relationship between oral health and overall health, but there is more than enough evidence to show a strong connection exists. However, most of the issues described above are caused by gum disease, which is entirely preventable with good oral hygiene habits.
Preventing gum disease requires more than just brushing. Flossing and rinsing with a mouthwash on a regular basis as well as bi-annual dental cleanings are essential for keeping your gums strong and healthy. Just remember, healthy gums and a healthy mouth equals a healthy body.
If you’re suffering from gum disease, treating it as soon as possible is important to avoid any additional adverse effects on your health and body. Contact us at Ormond Beach Periodontics today. We can treat gum disease using a variety of treatments and techniques while working to ensure you remain comfortable every step of the way.