Your General Health Is Surprisingly Linked To This Part Of Your Body
“Healthy body, healthy mind.” We’ve all definitely heard that before. But not many of us consider what comes before a healthy body: a healthy mouth. That’s right – there are multiple studies that confirm the links between oral health and general health. One dental health foundation even describes the mouth as the “window to the rest of the body”! But what exactly causes the mouth to have such a fundamental impact on our general health? You’ll find out in today’s blog, and you’ll learn why it’s even more important to schedule regular check-ups with our dentist in Berwick.
How does oral health impact general health?
Your mouth is the gateway to the rest of the body. While this is quite crucial for consuming food and water, it also means oral bacteria can make its way from your mouth to your digestive and respiratory tracts. When these oral bacteria multiply due to poor oral hygiene, it can cause infections in other parts of the body. Even if the oral bacteria isn’t directly responsible for another infection, it can actually lower your body’s resistance to potential bodily infections that may arise. That’s why it’s vital to keep your oral health in check.
5 conditions affected by poor oral health
According to a report by Dental Health Services Victoria, poor oral health can contribute to a range of bodily infections and diseases, including:
- Endocarditis. Endocarditis is defined as an infection of the heart’s inner lining, its chambers and its valves. It is commonly caused by staphylococcal bacteria, but can also be caused by fungi or other germs that enter your mouth and make their way through your bloodstream.
- Birth complications. Around 3 in 4 pregnant women are naturally more likely to develop periodontal disease due to hormonal changes, which puts them at a greater risk of a number of pregnancy issues. These complications may include premature births and low birth weight.
- Pneumonia. Combined with difficulty swallowing and dental decay, poor oral health (especially among elderly people) is suggested to be linked to contracting aspiration pneumonia. Aspiration pneumonia is specifically caused by inhaling bacteria that cause lung infections. These bacteria can be housed in your mouth, following the gateway directly to your lungs.
- Cardiovascular disease. Periodontal disease and tooth loss are also associated with a greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease. In fact, evidence suggests that a person with less than 10 of their teeth is a whopping seven times more likely to develop a fatal coronary disease than someone with more than 25 of their teeth. Cardiovascular disease is currently the leading cause of death in Australia for both males and females of all ages combined.
- Stomach ulcers. The bacterium known as ‘H. pylori’ is what causes stomach ulcers. ‘H. pylori’ can also be found in oral plaque, meaning that people with poor oral hygiene are at an increased risk of stomach ulcer transmission (or reinfection).
There are also a number of bodily infections that can impact your oral health, including osteoporosis, which can cause tooth loss and jaw pain.
Does poor oral health contribute to any conditions you can’t see?
The short answer is yes, poor oral health can contribute to a number of additional conditions that are, in most cases, difficult to see and measure. These conditions may include:
- Decreased productivity and performance
- Lowered self-esteem
- Difficulty eating and speaking
- Poor work and school attendance.
Take care of your oral health and see a dentist in Berwick
If you don’t already take good care of your teeth and gums, now is the time to start doing so. The first step you can take towards great oral hygiene is seeing an Eden Rise dentist in Berwick.
Eden Rise Dental is a family-friendly clinic that offers a range of dental services, from routine check-ups to braces and cosmetic dentistry. We pride ourselves on making all our patients feel comfortable, no matter what their dental story is. Our mission is to help you keep your smile healthy and beautiful, so there’s no reason to put off your oral health any longer!
To book an appointment with an Eden Rise dentist in Berwick, give our family-friendly practice a call on (03) 9702 6111.