Undeniably, oral health is more valuable than we may think.
Oral health may, in fact, provide clues about one’s general health. Likewise, one’s general health or their genes might provide clues to the future of their oral health.
What is the connection between oral health and overall health?
Several researchers believe that there is a collaborative relationship between general well-being and oral health.
Specifically, gum disease has been found to be a connection to respiratory disease, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoporosis.
Our mouth is brimming with bacteria just like several parts of the body. However, most of these are not harmful if kept in balance.
Typically, good oral health care via brushing at least twice per day and flossing daily can greatly keep these bacteria under control.
Keep in mind that without proper oral hygiene, the bacteria can reach levels which may result in various oral infections. This might include gum disease and tooth decay.
Furthermore, there are medications like painkillers, decongestants, diuretics, antihistamines, and painkillers that often decrease the production of saliva.
In actuality, saliva plays a very important role in the mouth. It clears excess food particles away and neutralizes harmful acid in the mouth caused by bacteria. Saliva alone can protect against bacteria overgrowth which might otherwise result in serious diseases.
Some research also proposes that inflammation and oral bacteria have associations with periodontitis. This condition is a serious, more progressed form of gum disease.
Additionally, certain conditions like diabetes mellitus and HIV/AIDS can reduce the body’s ability to resist infection. In turn, individuals with the latter conditions might be at a higher risk of oral health problems. Interestingly, research suggests that when you treat periodontal disease, the need for insulin is significantly minimized.
How to Protect Oral Health:
In order to properly protect one’s oral health, it is imperative to practice good oral hygiene daily. For instance:
- Brush using a soft-bristled toothbrush at least two times every day.
- Floss at least once a day, preferably before bed.
- Consume a healthy diet, and avoid frequent snacking if possible.
- Replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months or right when your toothbrush’s bristles begin to fray, whichever comes first.
- Schedule dental checkups regularly. Biannual appointments are often recommended.
- Contact the dentist as soon as oral health issues emerge.
Be reminded that taking utmost care of one’s teeth is not only about obtaining good smelling breath and an attractive smile. Oral hygiene can also ensure that one’s overall health is in better condition.
So, next time you feel too tired to brush, floss, and rinse with fluoride-based mouthwash or think twice about scheduling a dental appointment, remember that good oral health is crucial to obtaining general wellness.