There is a connection between oral hygiene and your health

oral hygiene and your healthOur mouths are full of bacteria: some good and some not so good. Normally, our body’s immune system, plus good oral hygiene habits (brushing and flossing daily), keep the bacteria under control. However, if we neglect to take care of our teeth, problems can arise. The following factors illustrate the very real connection between oral hygiene and your health:

  • Poor oral hygiene can allow bacteria in our mouths to reach high levels and lead to tooth decay and gingivitis (gum disease).
  • Many common medications (antidepressants, antihistamines, decongestants and diuretics) contribute to the problem by reducing saliva flow. Sufficient saliva in our mouths helps to wash food and neutralize mouth acids to protect us from a bacterial overgrowth that can lead to infection.
  • Although the jury is still out, numerous studies suggest that inflammation in the mouth caused by cavities and gum disease can lead to other, more serious conditions in the body. Research show potential links between oral health and cardiovascular diseases, heart infections and even premature birth in pregnant women.
  • Again, research results aren’t yet conclusive, but suggest that poor oral health may lead to other conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and head and neck cancers.

What can you do, in addition to brushing and flossing

  • Eat a healthy diet and limit your intake of sweets and other junk foods.
  • Replace your toothbrush every season, or sooner if the bristles become frayed.
  • Use a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • See your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings so that potential problems are addressed quickly.

It’s nice to know that you can significantly lower your risks for certain conditions just by taking care of your teeth and seeing your dentist regularly.

If you live in a south Denver area community, contact us to schedule an appointment today.