December 23, 2020
Did you know there are between 500 and 1,000 species of bacteria in your mouth? Believe it or not, but not all bacteria are bad. In fact, your mouth and body rely on good species to function properly, like supporting your gut flora. Unfortunately, along with the good, there are also a variety of bad bacteria. Your teeth and gums aren’t the only areas to suffer the consequences of the tiny invaders. They can affect your body, too. Your dentist in Southlake can ensure there is an adequate balance of good and bad bacteria to promote optimal wellness.
Mouth and Body Connection
Your mouth is often referred to as the “gateway to the body” because the two are deeply entwined. Strong teeth are essential to maintaining a balanced diet to nurture your general health. Although your teeth are crucial, your gum health is equally important.
The biggest threat to your gums is a preventable infection called periodontal (gum) disease. It’s caused by bacteria found in plaque and tartar, which irritates and infects the gingival tissue. Although it can be avoided with proper oral hygiene, at least 50% of adults have a form of it. Not to mention, it’s the leading cause of tooth loss.
The complications caused by the infection don’t end in the mouth. Instead, the bacteria can enter your bloodstream, wreaking havoc throughout your body.
General Health Risks of Oral Infections
Research shows patients with gum disease are 40% more likely to have a chronic condition as well, such as:
- Diabetes: Inflammation in the mouth weakens the body’s ability to control blood sugar. When combined with the body’s lack of insulin, it can cause diabetic symptoms to worsen. It can also make the infection more challenging to treat because diabetes weakens the immune system.
- Heart Disease: As much as 91% of patients with heart disease also have periodontitis. The inflammation caused by the infection narrows the blood vessels, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
- Low Birth Weight: Pregnancy raises a woman’s risk of gum disease, which causes inflammation from the infection. Research shows infection and inflammation have been shown to interfere with the development of a fetus, which can lead to low birth weights.
- Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis and periodontitis both cause bone loss. Although more research is needed, it appears women who have osteoporosis are also prone to gum disease.
Promote Healthy Mouth and Body
You can protect your mouth and body from the complications of gum disease by committing to your oral hygiene routine at home. Besides brushing twice daily, don’t forget to floss before going to bed. It’s also best to visit your holistic dentist in Southlake at least twice a year. They’ll help you achieve your oral health goals for a healthy smile.
About Dr. Preetha Thomas
Dr. Thomas earned her dental degree at Harvard School of Dental Medicine. She has completed advanced training in oral pathology, as well as several specialty fields, like maxillofacial oral surgery. Dr. Thomas uses a holistic approach to help her patients reach excellent dental health. If you suspect you have gum disease, contact our office today for an appointment.
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