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General Dentist – Learn How Healthy Teeth Can Mean a Healthy You
Ask any general dentist and they will tell you that your teeth can have a significant impact on your overall health. Your mouth is full of bacteria (just like many other parts of your body), and the body’s natural defenses are usually sufficient to keep bacteria colonies balanced and in check. However, failing to maintain good oral health with proper oral hygiene can allow oral bacteria colonies to flourish beyond healthy levels. When this happens, the same bacteria that cause inflammation in oral tissue can potentially spread to other parts of your body and cause general health problems.
Common conditions linked to poor oral health
According to Mayo Clinic, poor oral health can potentially contribute to the development of endocarditis (infection of the heart’s inner lining). It is thought that bacteria from the mouth can enter the bloodstream and travel to damaged areas of the heart.
As with endocarditis, research published in the journal Public Library of Science One shows a link between oral bacteria and infections and heart disease. If you have a family history of cardiovascular disease, you should be especially careful about maintaining good oral health and visiting your general dentist on a regular basis for checkups and thorough dental cleanings.
Diabetes has been linked to excessive inflammation, though the exact connection between the two is unclear. Individuals with gum disease may have a higher risk of experiencing worsening diabetes symptoms than those without gum disease. According to the National Institute of Health, this may be because gum disease makes it harder to control glucose.
The National Institute of Health suggests there may be a connection between poor oral health (specifically periodontal disease) and osteoporosis. Periodontal disease occurs when bacteria start to break down the bones and gums that support the teeth. Some studies show a strong relationship between periodontitis and general bone loss, although the relationship between the two is not fully understood.
Low birthweight and preterm births can cause infant deaths and health complications. In a study published in the Journal of Natural Science, Biology and Medicine, there appears to be a higher risk for low birthweight or preterm births among mothers who have periodontal disease. While more research is needed on the subject, it is wise to maintain good oral health if you want to minimize your risk of pregnancy and/or delivery complications.
Health benefits of good oral hygiene
Now that you understand some of the overall health risks associated with poor oral hygiene, it is time to go over some of the benefits of keeping your oral health intact. Here are just a few of the benefits you can experience if you maintain your oral health.
- Decreased risk of inflammation-related diseases
- Reduced risk of cavities
- Improved appearance and confidence
- Better gum health
It appears that oral health is strongly linked to general health. If you are looking for ways to boost your overall health, you may want to start by visiting your general dentist and making sure you are taking good care of your teeth and gums.
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