Oral Health: The Gateway to Overall Health
There is a common misconception that oral health only refers to your teeth and gums. While it’s true, teeth and gums are a major component of oral health, many are unaware that oral hygiene can also affect your overall general health. Let’s take a deeper look into the benefits of a clean mouth.
Your mouth is a fascinating organ. It’s perhaps the most vital organ, allowing our bodies to ingest the necessary food and water to live, but it’s also an organ that’s teeming with bacteria, albeit mostly harmless. This bacterium however, if not kept at healthy levels by daily brushing and flossing can lead to not only oral infections (tooth decay & gum disease), but also potentially play a role in other diseases too.
According to the Mayo Clinic, other conditions and diseases that can be linked to poor oral health include endocarditis, cardiovascular disease, pregnancy and birth complications, and pneumonia. As if this new research wasn’t alarming enough, there’s actually a flip side to all of this! These diseases and conditions can also have an adverse effect on your oral health. Some diseases lower the body’s immune system and make fighting off infections and inflammation even more difficult. Conditions like gingivitis, periodontitis, and trench mouth are examples of conditions that can be brought on or made worse by a poor immune system.
There is hope, after all! Protecting your oral health is as simple as practicing good oral hygiene daily. Here are some solid practices to keep your mouth and body healthy.
· Start with a healthy diet. Try and cut down on food with added sugars
· Brush your teeth at least twice a day using fluoride tooth paste
· Floss daily! If flossing isn’t your thing, consider using floss holders, or small gumpicks to clean in between your teeth.
· Don’t be shy, schedule regular checkups and cleanings with your Dentist.
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