Oral Health and Overall Health

There’s an old saying that states your eyes are the window to your soul. When it comes to oral hygiene, your mouth is the window to your overall health. The state of your dental health comes with many consequences. Increasing evidence shows correlations between poor oral health and a decline in general health. Prevention, through proper oral care and regularly scheduled cleanings is considered key to maintaining good overall health. While few people might take great pleasure in performing the daily regime of daily flossing and multiple brushing sessions, there are lifelong benefits that come with dedication.

Periodontal disease- or disease of the gums and supporting bone has been linked to various other diseases including but not limited to:

Diabetes: People living with diabetes are prone to a variety of bacterial infections, including gum disease. The bacteria from severe gum disease may increase blood sugar levels, making it difficult to control diabetes and cause complications. While it isn’t definitively clear in which direction the correlation goes, the belief is that gum disease allows bacteria to spread into the body and cause overall inflammation- said inflammation can damage the body’s ability to process sugar.

Cardiovascular Disease: According to ongoing studies, invective endocarditis- a condition in which the interior lining of the heart and heart valves become inflamed- can be contributed to bacteria found from diseased gums forming artery-clogging plaques. Researchers think that bacteria in the mouth can make its way through the body increasing inflammation, which can contribute to atherosclerosis. Although there isn’t a clear link between gum disease and heart attacks, researchers are confident that gum health and heart conditions share commonalities.

So, what does this mean? With regular and effective oral care, gum disease can be prevented, controlled, or even reversed in early stages. Between dental hygiene appointments, it is important to maintain a daily oral health regime:

-Brush twice a day for two minutes using a soft toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste.
-Floss between teeth and gums once a day to remove food and plaque
-Brush and clean your tongue daily
-Don’t smoke or use smokeless tobacco.
-Follow Canada’s Food Guide and eat a nutritional, well-balanced diet.

It’s never too late to start taking better care of your teeth-you may see that your dentist’s findings can lead you to understanding more about your overall health.
Make your appointment today for a healthier tomorrow!