Brushing teethYou might think that having good or poor oral health only affects the conditions of your mouth, but you would be wrong. Oral health can play a major role on your overall health. Periodontal disease (gum disease) can lead to other health conditions within the body.

The connections between life-threatening diseases within the body and periodontal disease have become much more apparent through studies in the past-recent years. The link between the health of your mouth and your body has ballooned in the last 5 to 10 years.

Think of the phrase “the eyes are the gateway to the soul” well, the mouth is the gateway to the body. Bacteria in the mouth makes gums prone to infections, and this allows the gums to become inflamed. If that inflammation is not brought under control the infection continues and has the ability to move through the bloodstream into other parts of the body.

What does this mean for the overall health of your body?

There are several diseases that are connected to poor oral health, and the extent of what they may do to your body may come down to how you take care of your oral health. Dental hygiene not only gives you a beautiful and dazzling smile, but can also keep you from experiencing disease, such as:

  • Heart Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Neurological Disease
  • Breast Cancer
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Pregnancy Complications
  • Osteoporosis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Lung Conditions
  • Obesity

Poor oral health is one of the biggest complications for those who are suffering from diabetes. How? Inflammation within the mouth is one of the biggest weaknesses of the body’s ability to control blood sugar. Those who are managing diabetes have trouble processing sugar due to a lack of insulin, the hormone that turns sugar into energy.

Inflammation (infection within the mouth) impairs the body’s ability to correctly use insulin, which is destructive to the body’s ability to maintain the amount of insulin that is required to keep the body healthy. This has a considerable effect on how the mouth utilizes sugar (carbohydrates).

High blood sugar provides the perfect condition within the mouth for infection to grow, especially within the gums. However, taking care of one can help the other; managing one can help bring the other into control.

The Bottom Line on Oral Health

Your mouth is very much connected to the health of the rest of your body. Taking good care of your oral health can positively affect the rest of your body, but the not taking good care of your oral health can have a negative (and often deadly) effect on your overall health. By brushing (at least) twice a day, flossing (at least) once a day, and making sure dental visits with us are a part or your oral hygiene routine, you can keep your oral and overall health at its best.

For more information on how your oral health is connected to your overall health, contact our office and our friendly and knowledgeable staff will be happy to help.