Waving down the ice cream truck and sitting on a step eating an ice cream…
You might be surprised how much oral dental health influences your overall wellness! Did you know your mouth contains a unique microbiome? A study showed that your oral microbiome not only influences your oral health but the health and condition of your whole body. Since oral wellness is one of the key drivers of our overall health, it’s that much more important to prioritize good dental care.
Links between Dental health and Overall Health
A large number of bacteria in a person’s oral microbiome has been directly associated with suffering oral health, as shown in a study done here, and indicated tooth decay and periodontitis. Other studies have revealed that severe forms of gum diseases that cause tooth loss are actually associated with bacterial pneumonia, cardiovascular disease, and stroke.
In many cases, dental problems have resulted in heart diseases and arterial blockages. Similarly, pregnant women suffering from severe gum diseases may end up giving birth to premature and/or underweight babies. Some fatal diseases like AIDS, diabetes and Sjogren’s syndrome first become apparent through signs that relate to oral problems like scratches or damages in the mouth. Diseases like AIDs tend to adversely affect the immune system which means that gum diseases would, in turn, get even more severe. As for those suffering from diabetes, the oral health often deteriorates further and it gets more challenging for them to control the sugar levels in the body. Also, numerous nutritional deficiencies and infections are seen coming through oral precursors.
Despite these links, one cannot blindly assume that just because both conditions appeared together in an individual, one led to the other. For this reason, researchers are exerting more efforts in trying to determine how these relate.
See a dentist you love and trust regularly. Seeing the possible links between oral and general diseases can be scary, and your local dentist can help you navigate your concerns. In general, keep following the basic protocols for maintaining oral hygiene: brushing your teeth, using a mouthwash, flossing regularly, etc.
If you notice any significant oral problems, you should immediately see the dentist. These signs include persistent bad breath, swollen or painful gums, bleeding gums while brushing or flossing, and so on.
Let the dentist know if you are going through any other health issues or recent illnesses. Discuss your health history, including information about medications. Most importantly, don’t conceal important facts like the use of tobacco, imbalanced diet, or overeating sweets.
In addition, if you are pregnant, take good care of your dental health as it can have far-reaching impacts on both you and your baby. Maintain good nutrition with a nutrient-dense diet as much as possible, since that will provide the building blocks for the baby’s growth. This will build up nutrient stores for your body to pull from. If not, your body will pull nutrients from your teeth and bones, possibly creating cavities for you, in order to give the baby what it needs. Work closely with your dentist and your doctor, and remember to see your dentist every 6 months.
In summary, dental health is strongly reflected in our overall health. Don’t ignore any adverse signals your mouth sends you, and be sure to talk to your local Jacksonville dentist if you have any issues.