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Why oral health is critical to your overall health and wellbeing

Why oral health is critical to your overall health and wellbeing
Taking care of one's teeth and gums is often thought of as part of general hygiene. But it's important to remember that good dental hygiene is vital not only for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums but for your whole body.
The state of one's mouth may have a major effect on the functioning of other organs and systems in the body.
I spoke to my local Surrey dentist who shared with us that heart disease, lung infections, diabetes, and even mental health issues may all be exacerbated by poor dental health.
Therefore, it is crucial to one's general health and wellness to practice appropriate dental hygiene. Knowing the connection between oral and overall health can help you take the essential precautions to keep your mouth in tip-top shape.

Relationship between oral and total body wellness

Poor dental health has been shown to have far-reaching effects on other parts of the body. The gums are a major entry point for oral bacteria into the circulation, which may then spread infection and inflammation throughout the body. Poor dental health has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, pneumonia, and diabetes.
Researchers have found a correlation between periodontitis (a severe type of gum disease) and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The periodontal disease-causing bacteria may travel through the circulation and adhere to the fatty deposits in the arteries, causing blockages and raising the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Poor dental hygiene has been linked to pneumonia and other lung illnesses because germs from the mouth may be breathed and spread throughout the respiratory system.
Additionally, studies have demonstrated a correlation between diabetes and gum disease. Gum disease and diabetes are a vicious cycle; poor blood sugar management may worsen the effects of a diabetic patient's compromised immune system. Furthermore, rheumatoid arthritis and other forms of cancer have been related to poor dental health.

Oral health's impact on cardiovascular health

Inadequate dental care has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and other complications. Research shows that gum disease bacteria may travel through the circulation and contribute to the development of atherosclerosis by promoting the growth of fatty deposits in the arteries. The risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke is raised when arteries become blocked due to atherosclerosis.
Additionally, there is evidence that gum disease might enhance the risk of cardiovascular disease by causing systemic inflammation. C-reactive protein (CRP) is a blood measure for inflammation and a risk factor for cardiovascular disease; its levels may rise as a result of gum disease-induced inflammation.
In addition, studies have shown that addressing gum disease might boost heart health. Endothelial function, or the blood vessels' capacity to dilate and constrict, is improved by treating gum disease, as are inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein (CRP).

Oral health and diabetes: understanding the connection

Diabetes and dental health have a close relationship, and the condition may be made worse by neglecting one's teeth and gums. Gum disease is more common in people with diabetes since the condition makes it harder for the body to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Poor glucose management has been linked to an increased risk of gum disease in humans. Gum disease, in turn, may make it harder to manage blood sugar levels, which can increase diabetic symptoms.
Diabetic problems are already more likely when gum disease is present. Studies have shown that people with both diabetes and gum disease are at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, renal disease, and other diabetes-related consequences.

The role of oral health in digestive Health

Poor oral health has been linked to an increased risk of acid reflux and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), highlighting the need to maintain good dental hygiene for overall digestive wellness.
Food is first broken down into tiny bits and combined with saliva in the mouth, marking the beginning of the digestive process. Thus, poor dental health may affect digestion and cause issues farther down the digestive system.
In addition, if you don't take care of your teeth and gums, dangerous germs may grow in your mouth and eventually make their way into your digestive system. For instance, research has revealed that people with digestive issues like acid reflux and inflammatory bowel disease also have the bacteria that cause gum disease in their stomachs and intestines.
Some gastrointestinal diseases, such as Crohn's, have also been linked to poor dental health. Crohn's disease is characterized by inflammation and immune system malfunction, both of which may lead to oral health complications such as mouth ulcers.

Final words

Poor dental health may have serious consequences for a person's mental, social, and physical health, making it essential to maintain good oral hygiene.
The inability to eat comfortably, avoid pain, and maintain a healthy weight are all negatively impacted by poor dental health. The inability to take pleasure in cooking and sharing meals with others is another negative consequence.
When a person's smile is in disrepair, it may have a negative effect on their self-image and confidence. This may have serious consequences on one's capacity to interact with others and develop meaningful connections with others.
A person's entire health and quality of life may be negatively affected by poor oral health, which has been related to a number of chronic health issues.
Therefore, regular dental hygiene is crucial for a happy and healthy existence. This entails going to the dentist periodically for checkups and cleanings and employing preventative measures like brushing, flossing, and using antimicrobial mouthwash.
Individuals should also engage with their healthcare providers to manage any chronic diseases that may affect their oral health and update their dentist on any changes to their oral health or medical history.
Banner image credit:  Image by Daniel Albany from Pixabay