Why Does Oral Health Affect Your Overall Health?

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Your mouth is host to hundreds of different strains of bacteria. While most are harmless, others can cause disease, especially as your mouth is the entrance to your respiratory and digestive tracts.

Usually, if you follow a good oral care routine, these bacteria are kept under control. However, suppose you are a little lax about brushing and flossing your teeth regularly. In that case, harmful bacteria can soon build up to such levels that they cause infections, including tooth decay and gum disease. Another health risk is dry mouth, a condition where insufficient saliva is produced. A good saliva flow is essential for helping to neutralise the acids produced by bacteria, and without it, the risk of oral disease increases substantially.

Over the past few years, there has been substantial research into the connection between oral health and overall health. Studies suggest that poor oral health, specifically gum disease, an inflammatory infection, could be linked to other serious health problems. These include cardiovascular disease, pneumonia and other respiratory diseases, diabetes and dementia.

Luckily, it is relatively easy to maintain good oral health with regular visits to our dental practice for checkups and cleanings. In addition, when we can detect gum disease early, it is entirely reversible.