Proper dental care produces a healthy mouth. A healthy mouth creates a beautiful, healthy smile and a healthier body. Researches that have been conducted to study the relationship between oral health and overall body health have indicated that good oral health positively impacts a number of other medical conditions. This means that being conscious about dental self-care and visiting your North Georgia dentist regularly for check-ups improves whole body health and thus your quality of life. On the other hand, when dental health care is neglected, the result is oral health problems that can cause bigger health problems to the entire body. Below are the 3 major ways in which oral health is linked to overall health.
Healthy Smile = Healthy Pregnancy = Healthier Baby
The old wives’ tale of “one tooth loss for every baby” is no longer true in today’s world of information and technology. With an adequate intake of calcium and proper dental hygiene before, during and after pregnancy, a mother can avoid the dental problems associated with pregnancy. By maintaining a healthy mouth, you also increase the chances of having a healthy baby. It’s important to know which diseases to avoid during pregnancy. Common dental diseases to look out for include:
- Gum disease: According to the American Academy of Periodontology, oral bacteria contain a labor-inducing biological fluid. The amounts of this fluid increases with gum disease. Therefore, pregnant women suffering from gum disease are at a greater risk of delivering prematurely or giving birth to underweight babies. Special attention should be paid to gums and teeth to avoid the development of gum disease.
- Erosion of the enamel: Morning sickness is not an uncommon symptom of pregnancy for many women. They experience nausea which sometimes adds acidity in the mouth. This acidity can erode teeth if the mouth is not rinsed out. If you find yourself in this situation, use water or a fluoride mouthwash to keep the acid level in your mouth under control.
- Tooth decay and oral infections: Pregnancy dry mouth puts a pregnant woman at a risk of tooth decay and oral infections. Drinking plenty of water and chewing gum can reduce this risk since the two actions enhance production of saliva and keep the mouth hydrated.
If you plan on getting pregnant, visit your North Georgia dentist for an oral health exam and necessary dental treatment. This will help to reduce the likelihood of having a dental emergency during pregnancy. During the meeting with your dentist, you can also schedule further dental visits during your pregnancy.
Good oral health helps to keep the heart healthier
Oral bacteria can infect the heart of a person who is suffering from certain cardiovascular conditions. These infections are called infective endocarditis and occur when oral bacteria enter the bloodstream through injuries that may occur in the mouth during eating, normal brushing, or flossing.
Periodontal disease increases inflammation level throughout the body. Inflammation is a big risk factor for heart conditions. More than 80% of patients who have had a heart attack have periodontal disease. For periodontal disease patients, the risk of getting a heart attack is twice that of those who do not suffer from the dental condition.
Monitor your oral health to keep your sugar level in check
If you are diabetic, having a healthy mouth can be your reliable sugar level checker. When sugar levels increase, oral health is affected. Increased sugar levels can lead to tooth loss and increase the severity of gum disease. In diabetic people, periodontal disease seems to be more frequent and more severe and the healing process. Therefore, if your dentist examines and diagnoses you for periodontal disease, you should go to a doctor and have a diabetes exam.
Another connection between oral health and diabetes is that a person with gum problems finds it harder to control their sugar levels than one who don’t suffer from the dental problem. The reason is that the infections can increase blood sugar levels.
Other health conditions linked to oral health include hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis , Alzheimer’s, and lung cancer.
Routine dental care helps to protect oral health and regular visits to a North Georgia dentist can help to unearth other health issues at their early stages so that appropriate treatment is done. As such, proper oral health care should be viewed as a way of maintaining a healthy smile, a healthy body, and an improved quality of life. Having knowledge of the mouth and body connection can help one to be more vigilant in obtaining and maintaining good oral health.