Your oral health is a gateway to the rest of your body, and is much more important than most people realize. Dr. Gilmor from Glen Dental explains that your oral health gives you and your dentist clues about the rest of your body.

So what’s the Connection?

Like most parts of your body, your mouth is loaded with bacteria. Most of the bacteria is harmless as the body will naturally defend the bad bacteria if you practice good oral hygiene, including brushing twice and flossing once each day. With brushing and flossing, you can help keep the bad bacteria under control. However, if you are slack when it comes to oral hygiene, the bacteria can get out of control causing oral infections like gum disease and tooth decay.

WebMD explains that certain medications, such as painkillers, decongestants, diuretics, antihistamines and antidepressants have a tendency to reduce your saliva flow. Saliva is a natural defense against bacteria as it helps to wash away food particles while neutralizing the acids.

Recent studies have indicated that oral bacteria and periodontal disease inflammation could play a part in some diseases. On top of that, diabetes and HIV/AIDS can also lowers your body’s resistance when it comes to infection making oral health issues even worse.

What Conditions Are Linked to Oral Health?

Your teeth, gums, and overall oral health could be contributing to a variety of conditions and diseases that include:

  • Endocarditis
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Premature Birth
  • Low Birth Weight
  • Diabetes
  • HIV
  • Osteoporosis
  • Alzheimer’s disease

Other health conditions that may be linked to your oral health include Sjogren’s syndrome, Eating Disorders, Head and Neck Cancer and Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Protect your Oral Health

To protect your teeth and gums the following is very important:

  • Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
  • Floss daily
  • Eat a healthy diet and limit your snacks
  • Replace your toothbrush every three or four months
  • Avoid tobacco
  • Schedule regular dental checkups

If you can’t remember the last time you saw your dentist, call or click and schedule an appointment for a comprehensive dental examination that includes an oral cancer screening. Call or click today.