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  • Writer's pictureValue Dental Care

How Oral Health Impacts Overall Health


Older couple brushing teeth and smiling

While oral care is often regarded as a separate aspect of personal hygiene, mounting evidence suggests that neglecting it can have far-reaching consequences for our overall health. Beyond maintaining a bright smile, oral health plays a vital role in our cardiovascular system and respiratory and mental health. Let's examine how oral health can impact your overall health.

The mouth is the primary opening to the rest of the body, so it makes sense that keeping your mouth clean and healthy can keep the rest of the body in good shape. There are up to six million bacteria present in the mouth. Most bacteria are harmless, with good hygiene. But bacteria can multiply and enter the bloodstream, which can be problematic.

Heart Health

Research shows a tangible link between healthy gums and a healthy heart. Bacteria from your mouth spreading through your bloodstream and attaching to your heart can cause endocarditis. Endocarditis is an infection of the heart's inner lining, chambers, or valves. This serious illness sometimes requires surgery to correct or can be treated with IV antibiotics.

Bone Health

Osteoporosis is a disease that weakens the bones and affects nearly 10 million Americans. Research shows a connection between osteoporosis and bone loss in the jaw. As the density of the jawbone that supports the teeth decreases, the foundation for the teeth is no longer solid, leading to tooth loss. The good news is osteoporosis is preventable with good oral home health care, Vitamin D and calcium supplements, and regular exercise.

Diabetes

If you have diabetes, good oral hygiene and regular dental visits are essential to your overall health. First, diabetes reduces your body's resistance to infection, which means you are at an increased risk of gum infections. Second, you are more likely to develop periodontitis and gingivitis because the body has above-normal blood glucose levels. Healthy blood sugar control and regular dental visits can prevent these complications.

Mental Health

There is truth to the adage, "When you look good, you feel good." Good oral health leads to fresh breath and whiter teeth. Taking good care of your oral health will help you feel confident and happy personally and professionally.

Improve Oral Health

Here are a few things you can do regularly to keep your oral health in tip-top shape.

  • Brush your teeth regularly

  • Use a fluoride toothpaste

  • Rinse and gargle with an antiseptic mouthwash

  • Floss regularly

  • Attend regular dental visits

  • Pay attention to oral pain

If it is time for you to have a regular check-up or want to talk about oral health issues, reach out to Value Dental Care. Our trained staff is always ready to help you with all your oral care needs. We offer high-quality care at affordable prices. Email or call us today to schedule an appointment at our Spring Hill (352-684-1274) or Crystal River (352-794-6139) locations.

 

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