Oral Health as a Component of Overall Health

Oral Health as a Component of Overall Health

Many people are under the misconception that the mouth is a self-contained environment. There is a strong tendency to think of oral health and overall health as two completely unrelated systems. People think of the work done by medical doctors and dentists, and assume the body is as distant as those professions. In reality though, the body is one, cohesive system. A problem like periodontal disease in the mouth can have large repercussions throughout the rest of the body.

The Connection Between Periodontal Disease and Serious Disease

When you suffer from serious cases of gum disease, there is strong evidence to support the fact that this can have an overall detrimental effect on your health. Serious, chronic and even fatal conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, strokes, arthritis, respiratory infections, preterm low birth weight babies, gastrointestinal diseases, to name a few have been linked to bad oral health.

When your gums are infected, there are a few theories that could explain how this increases your risk factors in other areas of your health. The first, is that there are increased quantities of bacteria in your mouth, which then have access to the rest of your body. The more popular theory currently is that your body reacts to gum disease with inflammation, and inflammation has been shown to be one of the major risk factors in whole host of serious illnesses.

What can be certain, is that if you suffer from periodontal disease, you are putting yourself at risk of other serious illnesses as well.

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Good oral hygiene should not be considered a task that is necessary for the sake of vanity or good breath. It is much more serious than that. Instead, looking after your gums and teeth should be thought of as a critical part of a healthy lifestyle.

If you eat healthy every day, and hit the gym 5 times a week, you are clearly the kind of person who values your health. Even if that is too much for you, you likely strive every day to make healthy choices where you can. To throw that away by not dedicating the time to good oral health seems like a waste.

Instead, you should talk to your dentist and get educated about how to best look after your mouth. The leading cause of periodontal disease is poor oral hygiene. By looking after you mouth properly, you could not only be preventing gum disease, but you could actually contribute to a longer lifespan for yourself.

 

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