Healthy oral hygiene
Having good oral health gives you sparkling teeth, fresh breath, and the ability to smile with confidence. But it also means so much more. Medical research has established a link between the health of your mouth and the health of your whole body. We call this the oral systemic connection. And it’s the reason why you can’t have good overall health without taking care of your teeth and gums.
Let’s delve a little deeper into this connection between oral health and general health.
You probably know that when you don’t take care of your teeth with regular brushing and flossing, you can get cavities.
But a lack of good oral hygiene, particularly flossing, also leads to gum disease, which is the largest cause of tooth loss in adults. Gum disease starts out as an inflammation of the gums called gingivitis. If it isn’t taken care of, it can progress to a more serious infection known as periodontitis, where bone is lost from around the teeth.
This loss of bone can cause gum tissue to separate from the teeth, forming little spaces between the tooth and gum called pockets. You may not even notice this is happening, but your dentist can spot it right away.
Now here’s where the oral systemic connection comes in. Scientific research has found links between periodontal disease and other health conditions, heart problems, for example. It sees people with periodontal disease have a greater risk of cardiovascular disease, which leads to heart attacks and strokes. Periodontitis may also increase the chance that diabetes will progress.
There is even an evidence of a link between gum disease and adverse pregnancy outcomes. Scientists believe that what may connect these different conditions is inflammation, an immune response that can help the body heal. But chronic inflammation in one area of the body, such as the mouth, seems to trigger it elsewhere.
And too much inflammation throughout the body can actually become a destructive force.
Now here’s the good news, maintaining good oral health and all the benefits that go along with it is not difficult. You just have to commit to it. That means flossing your teeth at least once a day and brushing them twice a day. It also means see your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and exams.
It’s a great feeling to walk out of the dental office with a freshly polished smile. It’s also good to know that you’re doing all you can to live a strong, healthy life.