If the eyes are said to be the windows of the soul, then the mouth is the window to your overall health. Your dental health may only involve your gums, mouth, and teeth, but it can significantly influence your overall health and well-being.
As an entry point to your body, problems in your mouth can affect the rest of your body, making it more important than you think. That said, you want to visit your local dentist to help maintain your oral health. For instance, if you’re from North Carolina, consider visiting a reputable Cary dentist for your dental care needs.
In this article, you’ll learn the basics of dental health and how it affects your overall health.
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Stats On Oral Health
There’s no denying the fact that dental cavities and gum diseases are common around the globe. The World Health Organization (WHO) found that dental diseases affect up to 3.5 billion people worldwide.
Meanwhile, over 530 million kids have dental carries of their primary teeth, while up to 90% of school children have at least one dental cavity. Almost 10% of the world’s population suffers from severe periodontal diseases. In most countries, 1-10 people out of 100,000 have oral cancer.
The Link Between Oral Health And Overall Well-Being
Dental health has become more critical in the past years as new research and studies discovered a connection between poor dental health and systematic diseases. It turns out that healthy teeth and mouth can help in maintaining a healthy body.
Like most body parts, your mouth is teeming with primarily harmless bacteria. However, as an entry point to your digestive tract and respiratory system, these seemingly harmless bacteria may cause diseases.
Normally, healthy oral hygiene and a strong immune system can keep these bacteria under control. However, poor dental health can allow these bacteria to grow out of control, causing infections such as tooth decay or gum disease. With the increased number of bacteria and severe inflammation and infection, you’re more susceptible to gum diseases which play a significant role in certain chronic diseases and health issues.
Here’s how dental health can influence your overall well-being:
1.Impacts Your Respiratory Health
Keeping up with proper dental health helps reduce the risk of respiratory issues. When you neglect an infected tooth or swollen gums for a long time, you inhale the bacteria in your mouth. The bacteria travel through your bloodstream and into your lungs, where they can cause various respiratory infections, including pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and acute bronchitis.
2.Impacts Heart Health
Did you know that your oral health directly impacts your heart health? The bacteria that cause periodontal disease, which primarily results from infections and inflammation of the gums and bones supporting the teeth, can be problematic for your heart and blood vessels. When this bacterium enters your bloodstream, it can cause plaque build-up in your arteries. Over time, the plaque hardens and causes dangerous and often fatal heart disease known as atherosclerosis, which is the hardening of arteries.
This condition can create blood flow problems and heat blockages, increasing the risk of a heart attack. It also increases your blood pressure, which may result in a stroke. For severe dental infections, you may even develop a fatal heart condition called endocarditis, which is the infection of your heart’s lining.
3.Affects Reproductive Functions
Your oral health also plays a critical role in your reproductive system. A study shows poor oral health is linked to women’s infertility. Experts suggest that gum disease may be one of the many causes that makes it difficult for a woman to get pregnant. Evidence shows that a woman with poor dental health may take longer to conceive than those with a healthy mouth and teeth.
Aside from fertility, oral health can also influence your pregnancy. If a pregnant mother has poor oral hygiene, infections in her mouth can travel throughout the body and increase complications for the baby. Gingivitis and periodontitis are revealed to trigger premature birth and low weight in infants.
Men can also experience issues in the reproductive system if they have poor dental health. Bacteria from severe mouth infections can enter the bloodstream, causing inflamed blood vessels. This can obstruct proper blood circulation to the genitals, causing erectile dysfunction or making erections difficult.
4.Risk Of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Poor oral health is also associated with an increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis. Both gum diseases and rheumatoid arthritis have the same characteristics in that they both produce cytokines and growth factors. These chemicals can cause bone dissolution and trigger inflammatory mechanisms. Generally, the bacteria from a gum infection can worsen inflammation throughout the body, increasing the risk of rheumatoid arthritis.
As you can see, keeping up with good dental health is more than just preventing cavities and keeping your smile bright and white. A healthy mouth and teeth are free of infection and decay, which also helps minimize risks of chronic diseases and health issues. So, ensure you establish proper dental health care and regularly visit your dentist.