How Your Oral Health Affects the Rest of Your Body

There is a rather new theory, gaining significant interest in the last decade, that shows a direct correlation between our oral health and the health of the rest of our body. Over the last five to 10 years, there has been evidence brought forth linking mouth health to a number of greater health issues that people suffer from every day.

First and foremost, your mouth is essentially the entryway to your body. Everything we consume, a primary source of communication and even how we breathe, is done by way of our mouths. By acknowledging that importance of keeping a healthy and clean mouth, we can gain a better understanding of what can go wrong when we don’t properly take care of our mouths and how simple it is to take the necessary precautions against potential dangers. Diseases like periodontitis, a severe gum condition that deteriorates the bone around your teeth, can be starting points that are linked to serious illnesses like diabetes and heart disease.

The link between diabetes and periodontitis centers around the inflammation of the gums. Due to the inflammation that comes with periodontitis, the body is susceptible to losing control of blood sugar levels. A person with diabetes has a lack of insulin, a hormone that allows conversion of sugar to energy. With the inability to stay in control of their body sugar levels, they can subsequently rise to unhealthy proportions. Ironically, high blood sugar levels can foster infections, particularly in the gums. Fortunately, treating one of these diseases helps maintain the other. Has ensuring you’re keeping excellent oral health sunk in yet? If not, keep going.

Heart disease has been the leading cause of death for a number of years as it takes approximately 610,000 lives each year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are a number of risk factors that periodontitis and heart disease share such as excess weight and obesity, a habit of smoking, and a lack of a healthy diet. Because both conditions are linked to these factors, there is a growing concern that the two are often times related. With periodontitis causing mouth inflammation, a subsequent inflammation of the blood vessels restricts blood flow from the heart to the rest of the body. Once this occurs, people can develop high blood pressure; placing themselves at a greater risk of heart disease.

Although these diseases are more serious and take constant neglect of proper oral hygiene to develop, it is never a bad idea to be cautious. Something as simple as brushing your teeth two to three times a day and mixing in a daily floss can go a long way. Make sure to take the time to properly care for your mouth as not only will your teeth appreciate it, so will the rest of your body!

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