Happy Mouth; Happy Body
Did you know that your oral health can give you valuable insights into the health of the rest of your body?
We all understand that a healthy diet and regular exercise are crucial to our bodies’ long term health. However, recent research shows that poor oral health can lead to much more than tooth aches and cavities.
Missing teeth or oral infections can affect the way you eat, speak, socialize, and even lead to health complications in other parts of the body. Complications that can negatively impact both your physical and mental condition.
Taking care of your oral health is just as important as exercising and eating right. In today’s article we’ll take a look at how your oral health affects the rest of your body.
The Connection Between Your Mouth & Your Health
Studies have shown a strong connection between periodontal disease and the health of your body. Periodontal disease opens the door for microorganisms, like bacteria, to enter the bloodstream and travel throughout the body.
Microorganisms have the potential to make existing health issues, like diabetes, worse, or increase the risk of respiratory conditions, heart disease, stroke, and preterm birth.
Diabetes is an area of particular concern. Diabetes makes the body more prone to bacterial infections including periodontal disease. Severe cases of periodontal disease may also increase blood sugar — making it difficult to control.
High blood sugar can also interfere with the production of saliva which can lead to dry mouth. Dry mouth is a significant contributor to bad breath, plaque, tartar, and tooth-decaying bacteria.
When bacteria is allowed to build up in your mouth, it can raise the risk of respiratory conditions like pneumonia, bronchitis, and emphysema. Infections may occur due to breathing in fine droplets containing bacteria into the lungs.
Inflammation in the mouth may also increase inflammation in the lungs — reducing your body’s ability to effectively fight against infections.
As we mentioned above, oral infections can increase inflammation and the number of bacteria throughout the body. Inflammation can contribute to clogged arteries and blood clots — both of which pose dangers to the heart.
Like our mouth, bacteria in our veins and arteries can lead to plaque, which makes it more difficult to transport blood effectively. Bacteria may also contribute to endocarditis — a condition where the inner linings of the heart become infected.
When all of these factors are taken together, they can pose a serious risk of stroke or heart attack.
There is some evidence to suggest oral infections may lead to low birth weights, or preterm deliveries. In fact, women with untreated gum disease may be up to one and a half times more likely to enter early labour.
Hormonal changes may be partly to blame for the increased risk as they can leave the mouth more susceptible to plaque, tartar, and infection.
Infections in the mouth may release toxins that affect the fetus, which in turn produce labour-inducing signals earlier than necessary.
Keep Your Oral Health In Check For a Healthy Body
Have you noticed excessive bleeding, soreness, or loose teeth in your mouth? It may be time to get an oral examination — especially if you’re currently missing one or more teeth.