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The Connection Between Oral Health and Overall Health: Why does it Matter?

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Oral health is often considered just a matter of brushing and flossing regularly. Nevertheless, recent studies have shown a substantial link between oral health and systemic health. Let us mention that researchers have found connections between poor oral health and a range of illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, and even Alzheimer’s disease.

Since oral health is intertwined with overall health, problems with your teeth and gums may have serious health repercussions. Let us see how!

Connection between your oral health and overall health

The mouth is the gateway to the body, and the state of our oral health can greatly affect our health. Researchers have found that harmful oral bacteria can enter the bloodstream and induce inflammation, leading to different health problems. Additionally, the body’s immune system can become overburdened, attempting to fight off the inflammation caused by unhealthy oral bacteria.
You should also know that your saliva protects you from microbial invasions that can cause disease by neutralising the acids that bacteria create.

The WHO Global Oral Health Status Report (2022) estimated that oral diseases affect close to 3.5 billion people worldwide, with 3 out of 4 people affected living in middle-income countries.

Impact of Poor Oral Health on Overall Health

Poor oral health can have a harsh impact on your overall health. Gum disease, also known as periodontitis, is a standard oral health problem that affects numerous people worldwide. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss and other oral health issues. The bacteria from gum disease can enter the bloodstream, causing inflammation and leading to cardiovascular disease. Additionally, gum disease can also make it difficult to manage diabetes as it can cause blood sugar levels to rise.

Protecting your oral health

Maintaining regular dental hygiene is the best approach to safeguard your oral health. Brushing twice a day, regular flossing, and use of mouthwash are recommended. Additionally, you ought to stop using tobacco products and visit the dentist at least twice a year. We are listing a few good practises for you!

Healthy Habits for Improving Oral and Systemic Health

Here are some routines to follow to improve your oral and systemic health:

  1. Brush your teeth twice a day for at least 2 minutes.
  2. Floss daily to clear plaque and food particles from between your teeth.
  3. Use mouthwash to destroy harmful bacteria in your mouth.
  4. Eat a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  5. Restrict your intake of sugary and acidic foods and drinks.
  6. Quit smoking and restrict alcohol intake.
  7. Handle stress through meditation, exercise, or other relaxation techniques.

Foods that promote Oral and Systemic Health

Eating a healthy diet is also equally important for good oral and systemic health. Here are some foods that boost oral and systemic health:

  • Leafy greens like spinach and kale include vital vitamins and minerals that encourage oral and systemic health.
  • Foods rich in vitamin C, like strawberries, citrus fruits, and kiwi, help support the immune system and stimulate healthy gums.
  • Foods rich in calcium, like dairy products and leafy greens, help maintain teeth and bones.
  • Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like nuts, fatty fish, and seeds, help decrease inflammation in the body.

The Importance of Regular Dental Checkups

Regular dental checkups are necessary for maintaining good oral and systemic health. During a dental checkup, your dentist will inspect your teeth and gums for symptoms of gum disease, cavities, and other oral health problems. In addition, your dentist may also check for indications of systemic health problems like diabetes, heart disease, and oral cancer. Regular dental visits can help catch and treat oral and systemic health problems early, lowering the risk of complications.

Conclusion

Maintaining good oral health is necessary for overall health. The link between oral and systemic health is intriguing and emphasises the importance of looking after our teeth and gums beyond just brushing and flossing. If you want to know more about the link between your oral and general health or if you are looking for a regular dental checkup, come visit us at Designer Smiles. We will be happy to help!

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