What Exactly is the Mouth-Body Connection?
February 10, 2021
Did you know your mouth is often referred to as the “gateway to your body?” The connection involves more than just the foods you eat. Instead, it relates to your oral health’s influence on your general wellness. There are specific dental issues that can increase your risk of various health concerns. Although a minor cavity may not seem concerning, the oral bacteria can impede the functioning of your body, including your heart and brain health. Thankfully, your holistic dentist in Southlake understands the connection, designing your treatment plans to promote your overall wellbeing. Here’s how your dental health can affect your whole body.
Oral Bacteria and Your Health
Your teeth and gums are important for more than just a beautiful smile. Their health is crucial to your body’s functions. Your brain has a blood-barrier that protects it from toxins in the blood. You have a similar barrier between your gums, teeth, and the rest of your body.
Inflammation and infection in the mouth will slowly break down the barrier which can trigger dysfunction and disease throughout the body. Your oral health has a downward effect on virtually every system in your body. As a result, any dental problem can potentially increase your risk of several health concerns, including heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
If you have untreated oral health issues, it weakens the protective barrier in your mouth, allowing bacteria and toxins to pass from the gums into the bloodstream. With at least 50% of adults having a form of gum disease, you might be at risk of several adverse health complications.
Consequences of Oral Bacteria
Besides their effect on your mouth, oral bacteria can cause several concerns, such as:
- Infection: Bacteria from oral infections can enter the bloodstream and circulate throughout the body.
- Injury: Bacteria in the blood can lead to additional complications that can cause permanent injury to tissues.
- Inflammation: Your body responds to invaders via your immune system, which can cause an inflammatory reaction. If the inflammation isn’t treated, it can lead to a chronic response within the body.
Conditions Linked to Oral Infections
Oral infections, like gum disease, are connected to causing or complicating several health concerns, including:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Certain cancers
- Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
- Cardiovascular disease
- Low birth weight and premature births
- Bacteria pneumonia
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Promote a Healthy Mouth and Body
There are several steps you can take to keep your mouth and body healthy, including:
- Brushing your teeth at least twice a day.
- Flossing every night.
- Eat a balanced diet that’s limited in sugars.
- Visit your dentist at least twice a year for a cleaning and checkup.
If you develop any dental concerns between your semi-annual appointments, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist. They’ll resolve the matter to restore harmony in your body.
About Dr. Preetha Thomas
Dr. Thomas earned her dental degree at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. She offers a holistic approach to ensure optimal wellness through a healthy smile. If you have an untreated dental issue, or it’s time for your next preventive visit, contact our office today to schedule an appointment.
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