The Connection Between Oral Health and Overall Wellness

Portrait of a cheerful couple using an orange slice in place of a smile while in the kitchen.

The quality of your oral health is connected to your physical wellness. The oral-systemic health connection impacts your body, medical costs, and quality of life.

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, oral health and physical health are interdependent. Existing health conditions can increase the risk of oral disease. Conversely, poor oral health can result in the development of health conditions.

Fortunately, with proper care and attention you can prevent oral-systemic health issues.

How does poor oral health cause other health problems?

Nutrition enters your body through your mouth. And your mouth happens to be teeming with bacteria. Some of the bacteria are good. They are the first step in the digestive process. Other bacteria can be harmful to your health.

If you’re not diligent about keeping your mouth clean, bad bacteria can proliferate. This can lead to tooth decay and periodontitis or gum disease. If left untreated, gum disease can cause some serious health conditions. In fact, gum disease can be linked to three of the four pillars of chronic disease including heart disease, Alzheimer’s and autoimmune problems.

Health conditions that can be caused by poor oral health

The following serious health conditions can be the result of poor dental health:

Cardiovascular disease
Research suggests infections and inflammation caused by oral bacteria can result in heart disease, clogged arteries, and stroke.

This bacterial infection that enters your body through the mouth or other areas affects the proper functioning of your heart.

Birth complications
Gum disease can cause premature births and low birth weight.

Respiratory diseases and pneumonia are caused by bacteria in your mouth that has been pulled into your lungs.

Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
Some studies suggest that bacteria that develops into gum disease also caused neuroinflammation, neurodegeneration, and senile plaque formation. These in turn can lead to Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

Certain diseases themselves can lower the body’s resistance to infection and compromise oral health.

Studies show a reciprocal relationship between gum disease and diabetes. Diabetes makes it hard for the body to fight infections, which can cause gum disease. And people who have gum disease have a harder time controlling their blood sugar levels. So, treating periodontal disease reduces the need for insulin.

This bone-weakening disease also causes tooth loss.

Protect your oral health to improve overall health

It’s not hard to maintain your oral health. By following a few simple oral care tips, you can support good oral-systemic health for the long haul.

  1. Brush your teeth, gently, twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride. toothpaste. Make sure to replace your toothbrush every three to four months.
  2. Floss daily.
  3. Rinse with therapeutic mouthwash to wash away any excess bacteria.
  4. Visit Dr. Frahm for regular dental checkups, your oral cancer screening, and cleanings.

If any oral health problems arise, contact Dr. Frahm at 831-372-8011. By taking care of your oral health, you’re making a worthwhile investment in your overall health.

About Dr. Frahm

Dr. Frahm received her Doctorate of Dental Surgery from the University of Iowa College of Dentistry in 2003. She completes more than 100 hours of postdoctoral training each year; earning recognition from dental experts around the country for her knowledge in the areas of cosmetic, general and restorative dentistry. Dr. Frahm is committed to providing you with excellent, comprehensive dental care. Dr. Frahm uses advanced dental techniques and technology to ensure your comfort and lasting results.

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