Many people may not know how their oral health is linked to overall health. Certain health conditions and diseases can cause oral health problems. And oral health problems can lead to problems with other body systems. Read on to learn more about oral health and what you can do to protect yours.
Oral health and overall health
Most of the bacteria in your mouth is harmless, but some of them can cause disease. If you don’t have a proper oral hygiene, bacteria can reach levels that cause infections such as tooth decay or gum disease. Gum disease is linked to inflammation and disease in other areas of your body. Endocarditis, which is an infection on the inner lining of your heart chambers or valves, and cardiovascular disease have been linked to oral health.
Certain conditions and diseases also play a role in oral health. Diabetes is linked to a higher incidence of gum disease. HIV/AIDS can cause oral problems such as painful lesions. Osteoporosis is linked with tooth loss as well as bone loss in the jaw. Those who have Alzheimer’s disease may find their oral health worsening as the disease progresses.
Practice good oral hygiene
There are many things you can do to protect the health of your mouth:
- Brush your teeth twice a day and after meals. Use a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste. Replace your toothbrush every three months or whenever the bristles are worn.
- Floss every day. It’s critical to get the food particles you can’t see that are stuck between your teeth.
- Use mouthwash to remove any remaining food particles that brushing and flossing left behind.
- Follow a healthy diet. Try to limit food with added sugars.
- See your dentist for regular dental checkups and cleanings. If an oral health problem arises between appointments, don’t wait. See your dentist as soon as the problem arises to take care of it before it gets worse.
- Avoid using any form of tobacco.