You can help prevent gum disease, dental decay, and keep your mouth healthy by practicing good oral hygiene. Today, our dentists in Brandon talk about the ways a healthy mouth helps improve and contribute to your overall health and wellbeing.
Practicing excellent oral hygiene is one of the most reliable and reasonable predictors of better dental health outcomes. Meaning you have a better chance of keeping your teeth as you get older if you are implementing a good oral hygiene routine. Since dental health can have an effect on your overall physical wellbeing, good oral hygiene practices could have a positive effect on your overall health.
A Healthy Salivary Flow
Saliva is a helpful diagnostic tool, in that it can assist doctors and dentists in identifying and diagnosing systemic diseases before their symptoms become apparent.
In addition, saliva can help disable bacteria and viruses before they enter your system. In fact, saliva is one of your body’s main defenses against disease-causing organisms.
Saliva contains antibodies that attack viral pathogens, such as the common cold and even HIV. It also contains enzymes that destroy bacteria in several different ways, for instance by degrading bacterial membranes, disrupting vital bacterial enzyme systems, and inhibiting the growth and metabolism of some bacteria.
Keeping your salivary flow healthy is quite easy for most people. The key is to stay hydrated! Make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day to maintain a healthy salivary flow.
Dental Plaque & Infection
Your mouth is home to 500 species of bacteria that are continuously producing dental plaque, which is a colourless, sticky film that sticks to your teeth and leads to a range of health issues.
If you are not thoroughly flossing and brushing your teeth every day you are letting plaque build up between your gums and teeth, which could cause a gum infection known as gingivitis. If gingivitis goes untreated it can lead to periodontitis (gum disease) which is a more serious infection.
If you have periodontitis, simply undergoing a dental treatment or just brushing your teeth can provide a port of entry for the abundant bacteria in your mouth to enter your bloodstream.
If your immune system is healthy, the presence of oral bacteria in your bloodstream will not cause problems. However, if it has been weakened, for example by a disease or by cancer treatment, oral bacteria in your bloodstream may cause you to develop an infection in another part of your body.
Infective endocarditis, which is when oral bacteria enter the bloodstream and stick to the lining of diseased heart valves, is an example of this.
Dental Plaque’s Link to Common Conditions
By having a healthy mouth you are helping to prevent certain medical problems and diseases such as pre-term labour, heart attack, strokes, and complications related to diabetes.
Poorly Controlled Diabetes
Chronic gum disease may make diabetes more difficult to control. The infection may cause insulin resistance, which can disrupt blood sugar control.
Bacteria in the mouth could lead to inflammation throughout your body, including the arteries, meaning gingivitis may play a role in clogged arteries and blood clots.
In addition, gum disease and tooth loss may contribute to the development of plaques in the carotid artery.