For many people, oral hygiene isn’t a top priority in their daily routines. You may believe that brushing your teeth twice a day is enough to maintain a clean and healthy mouth, but did you know that poor oral hygiene can have severe consequences on your overall health? Your oral health is more closely linked to your overall health than you may think. In this blog post, we’ll explore how oral hygiene affects your health and why taking care of your mouth is so important.
Heart Disease and Stroke
One of the most significant links between poor oral health and overall health is the connection between oral bacteria and heart disease or stroke. Studies have shown that people with periodontal disease are two or three times more likely to develop heart disease, and the risks increase as the severity of the gum infection increases. Similarly, the bacteria that cause periodontal disease can enter the bloodstream and cause inflammation, leading to an increased risk of stroke.
Poor oral hygiene can also lead to respiratory infections such as pneumonia. Bacteria from the mouth can be inhaled into the lungs and cause infection, especially in individuals with weakened immune systems. Proper oral hygiene can help reduce the risk of respiratory infections and keep your overall health in good shape.
Recent research has found that the link between periodontal disease and diabetes is two-way. Patients with periodontal disease are more likely to develop diabetes, and those with diabetes are more susceptible to periodontal disease. The connection between the two conditions lies in the body’s ability to control blood sugar levels. Therefore, it’s essential to maintain excellent oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups to reduce your risk of developing diabetes or diabetic complications.
Pregnant women with poor oral hygiene are more likely to experience premature labor and low birth weight babies. The bacteria that cause periodontal disease can travel through the bloodstream, reaching the placenta, and triggering inflammation. This inflammation could interfere with the baby’s growth and lead to complications during delivery.
Lastly, some studies have found a link between poor oral hygiene and an increased risk of dementia in adults. Gum disease bacteria can travel through the bloodstream and reach the brain, contributing to the development of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
Taking good care of your oral hygiene is essential for your overall health and wellbeing. The benefits of maintaining healthy gums and teeth reach far beyond just a clean mouth; it’s linked to your heart health, respiratory health, diabetes, pregnancy, and even dementia. To achieve healthy oral hygiene, make sure to brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily, and schedule regular dental check-ups with a provider like Interlachen Dental Associates. Don’t forget to adjust your lifestyle habits, such as quitting smoking and limiting your sugary snack intake. By prioritizing good oral hygiene, you’re taking a significant step towards maintaining your overall health and quality of life.
About the author:
Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family, and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.