Our life is getting busier by the day. There seems to be so much to do in so little time. But how much time do you spend during the day thinking about how to make your oral health better? The most effort we take is brushing and may be flossing. Most people think about it only when they experience pain or some other discomfort. Our mouth is a window to our general health and there is a deep connection between our oral health and our overall wellbeing. Research has proved that chronic diseases like diabetes and heart conditions have a relationship with the health of our mouth. So let’s look into the details of how does poor oral health affect us.
Why is oral health important?
We can understand a lot about our general health from the status of our mouth. What it means is that many systemic diseases show signs and symptoms in the mouth. That’s the reason why your physician examines your mouth. Lesions in the mouth, as well as bleeding gums and a certain way the teeth appear, can indicate infections, blood disorders, endocrine conditions, bone disorders, and many more conditions. Our mouth has billions of bacteria, some are good and some are bad which cause cavities and gum disease. These harmful bacteria from the mouth can have far-reaching effects on the body like exacerbation of chronic conditions like diabetes and certain heart conditions.
Here are some serious problems caused due to poor oral health
- Heart Disease
Research has shown a connection between periodontal disease and heart disease. People with periodontal disease (gum diseases) are at higher risk of suffering from Endocarditis. The bacteria associated with gum disease can enter the blood stream and attach to certain parts of the heart leading to infection of its inner lining called endocardium resulting in endocarditis.
Also, the arteries of the heart and brain can get clogged due to oral bacterial infections which can lead to heart disease and stroke, although the connection is not very clear yet.
- Respiratory problems
Bacteria related to gum disease can travel through the blood stream to your lungs, increasing your chance of respiratory problems like pneumonia and acute bronchitis.
Studies have found that diabetes has a two way relationship with gum diseases. People which periodontitis have difficulty in controlling their blood sugar levels and good gum care improves diabetes. At the same time diabetes can exacerbate gum inflammation and tooth loss.
- Premature birth
Poor oral hygiene and periodontitis have been linked with risk of premature birth in pregnant women. Babies can be born preterm with low birth weight.
Other serious problems that might be associated with poor oral health are certain cancers, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, infertility, erectile dysfunction and many more…
There are certain risk factors associated with poor oral health
Junk food has become a part of our diet. But junk food like chocolates, candies, potato chips, processed foods, soft drinks, fruit juices and carbonated and sugary drinks are laden with sugar and unhealthy carbohydrates which become the food for bacteria in the mouth, which produce acids and weaken the tooth enamel and increase the likelihood of tooth decay and cavities. Snacking throughout the day on these will increase the risk of cavities.
Poor Oral hygiene
Improper and irregular brushing can cause of host of problems right from bad breath to cavities, gum diseases and infections. Plaque is constantly forming in our mouth. Made up of bacteria, it produces toxins which lead to damage of the oral tissues. If you are not flossing, then you are missing out on cleaning about one third of your teeth as toothbrush cannot reach in-between teeth increasing the chances of decay between the teeth
Smoking and chewing tobacco
Smoking tobacco in the form of cigars, cigarettes and chewing tobacco is very toxic to the soft tissues of the mouth. It can cause gum diseases, oral cancer and teeth staining.
Drinking alcohol in excessive amounts increases the plaque accumulation increasing the risk of tooth loss. Besides, it also increases the risk of dry mouth, gum problems, teeth staining. Done in combination with smoking puts the person at a higher risk of oral cancer.
Habits for better oral health
Brush twice a day and floss at least once daily. Use a soft bristled toothbrush with a tooth paste containing fluoride.
Rinse your mouth with water every time you eat or drink something.
Instead of junk food, switch to healthy snacks like vegetables and fruits that are crunchy, promote salivary flow as well as scrub teeth to decrease plaque accumulation. These include apples, celery, carrots.
Instead of munching throughout the day, try to maintain a gap in between meals to reduce exposing your teeth to acid.
Avoid tobacco in any form
Visit your dentist regularly for an oral exam and professional dental cleaning
Best dental care for a healthy smile
Neglecting your oral health can lead to serious health problems or worsening of existing ones. Our oral health plays a big part in keeping our body healthy. Maintaining a healthy mouth involves some lifestyle and oral hygiene efforts on your part as well as visiting your dentist regularly. If you have any concerns about your oral hygiene routine or need more information about preventing oral health issues, make an appointment with Signature Smiles dental clinic. Our dental specialists will make a thorough evaluation of your teeth and gums and suggest ways to keep them healthy. It is the best dental clinic in Mumbai to get comprehensive dental care for all your needs under one roof.