How Oral health can impact your Overall health ?

Oral health touches every aspect of our lives but is often taken for granted.Whether you are 80 or 8 your oral health is important. Many people believe that they need to see a dentist only if they are in pain or think something is wrong. Some 100 million people fail to see a dentist each year even though regular dental examinations and good oral hygiene can prevent many dental diseases and other complications.

To understand how the mouth can affect your body, you have to understand what can go wrong in the first place.

Tooth decay(caries) and gum diseases(gingivitis) are the most common dental problems caused by plaque,a sticky combination of bacteria and food.

This plaque, if not removed or cleaned ,it turns into a hard deposit called calculus.

▪︎Cavities: which damage the structure of teeth and which leads to further destruction into the underlying structures causing Pulpitis.

▪︎Gingivitis: Swollen, inflammed and bleeding gums.

▪︎ Periodontitis: Destruction of ligaments and bone that supports the teeth, often leading to tooth loss.

▪︎Bad breath (halitosis)

▪︎Abscesses, pain, inability to use your teeth.

The connection between oral health and overall health :‐

The working relationship between the diabetes and periodontitis may be the strongest of all the connections between the mouth and the body.

If you have diabetes, you are already at risk of developing gum disease.

Because, the inflammation that starts in the mouth seem to weaken body’s ability to utilize insulin. People with diabetes have trouble processing sugar due to lack of insulin.

High blood sugar ,provides ideal conditions for infection to grow, including gum infections.

Fortunately you can use gum disease-diabetes relationship to your favour: managing one can help bring the other condition under the control.

“The theory is that inflammation in mouth causes inflammation in the blood vessels”. Inflammed blood vessels allow less blood to travel between the heart and the rest of your body, raising blood pressure.

There’s also a greater risk that fatty plaque will break off the wall of a blood vessel and travel to the heart causing stroke and clogged arteries.

This infection of the inner lining of your heart chambers or valves(endocardium) typically occurs when bacteria or other microorganisms from another part of your body,such as your mouth, spread through your blood stream and attach to certain areas in your heart.

Severe oral diseases such as gum diseases may increase the risk of preterm delivery and giving birth to low birth weight baby. — The theory is that oral bacteria release toxins, which reach the placenta through mother’s bloodstream and interferes with growth and development of the fetus. At the same time oral infections cause mother to produce labor-triggering substances too quickly,potentially triggering premature labor and birth.

Certain bacteria in your mouth can be pulled into your lungs ,causing pneumonia and chronic obstructive lung diseases more worse by increasing the amount of bacteria in the lungs.

This is a bone-weakening disease which is linked with periodontal bone loss and tooth loss. Certain drugs used to treat osteoporosis carry small risk of damage the jaw bone.

Treating severe gum diseases has been shown to reduce the pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis.

“No smoking” is one of the most important thing you can do for your mouth and your body. Smoker’s risk of severe oral diseases is three times higher than someone who doesn’t smoke.

— Nicotine in cigarettes causes blood vessels to constrict. This interferes with the gum’s ability to fight infection, thereby interfering with treatment and causing other infections in the body. Recovery is more difficult in the people who smoke.

Cancer is an uncontrollable growth of cells that invade and cause damage to surrounding tissue.

Oral cancer includes cancer of lips, tongue,cheek,floor of mouth, hard and soft palate,sinuses and pharynx (throat). These can be life threatening if not diagnosed early.

How to take care of your oral cavity? —

▪︎Brush your teeth twice a day. When you brush,dont rush. Brush for atleast 2 minutes each time practicing a good brushing technique which your dentist suggests.

▪︎Dont forget to clean your tongue, which harbors bacteria, with a tongue scrapper.

▪︎Floss atleast once per day. Flossing removes plaque that is left behind after brushing from between the teeth and gums.

▪︎Use toothpaste consisting of fluoride, which helps to strengthen enamel and also helps to prevent tooth decay.

▪︎Replace your tooth brush for every 3 months or sooner if needed.

▪︎Eating and drinking lots of sweets and sweetened beverages increases your risk of cavities. If you eat or drink these substances, brush your teeth soon after.

▪︎If you smoke, try to quit. Using tobacco increases your risk of many diseases, including oral diseases.

▪︎ In addition to daily brushing and flossing,consider using mouthwash which contains fluoride to promote oral health.

▪︎Also resist the temptation to use toothpick or other materials that could injure your gums and let in bacteria.

▪︎keep dentures, retainers and other oral appliances clean. This includes brushing them regularly and may also need to soak them in a cleansing solution.

▪︎Schedule regular checkup with your dentist for every 6 months to promote a good oral health.

When to see a dentist

☆Red, tender or swollen gums.

☆Bleeding gums.

☆Loosening of tooth Or loose permanent tooth.

☆ Unusual sensitivity to hot and cold.

☆Painful tooth.

☆ Fracture of the jaw or jaw pain.

☆TMJ problems.

☆Persistent bad breath.

☆Any lesions in your oral cavity.

☆Any oral diseases or Oral cancers.

Conclusion:

Your mouth is a window into what’s going in the rest of your body, often serving as a helpful vantage point for detecting the early signs of the systemic disease — a disease that affects or pertains to your entire body.

“Your body can affect your mouth, likewise your mouth can affect your body”

If you dint already have enough reasons to take care of your oral hygiene, the relationship between your oral health and overall health provides even more.!

General Dentist | Msc Psychology | Health and psychology blogger