July 7, 2021
With the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic still fresh in our minds, many people have become more conscious about protecting their health. One especially important aspect of overall wellness is the immune system, which is responsible for fighting off infections. How can you keep your immune system strong? One way is by caring well for your oral health. Dr. Preetha Thomas, a holistic dentist in Southlake, is here to talk more about the mouth-body connection.
How Oral Health Problems Affect the Immune System
The human mouth has hundreds of types of bacteria in it. Most of those bacteria are harmless, and some are even helpful. However, there are some varieties that, when they invade the gum tissue, cause periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease, otherwise known as gum disease, is an inflammation of the gum tissue. It can lead to serious, adverse consequences for oral health, but it doesn’t stop there. The bacteria that cause it can sneak into the bloodstream, increasing the body’s overall burden of inflammation. On a short-term basis, inflammation is a good thing. When it becomes chronic, however, it adversely affects many bodily systems.
Research has found that gum disease is associated with a heightened risk of numerous systemic health problems. Besides increasing the chances of heart attack, stroke, and even Alzheimer’s, it can also increase the risk of severe COVID-19 symptoms.
Protecting Your Immune System
While the above information might sound a little scary, there is good news! For most patients, gum disease is relatively easy to prevent and treat. Here are some tips to help you protect your mouth, your immune system, and your overall well-being:
- Visit your dentist in Southlake for regular checkups. As a holistic dentist, Dr. Thomas is always on the lookout for signs of gum disease. If she notices any indications of it in your mouth, she will recommend an appropriate treatment.
- Pay attention to oral hygiene. When you brush your teeth twice a day, be sure to clean the area along your gumline. It is also important to floss at least once a day.
- Kick bad habits. Smoking dries out the mouth, thereby allowing harmful bacteria to flourish. It also adversely affects immune function.
- Eat a balanced diet. Vitamin C is famous for its immune system benefits — and it can play a role in preventing gum disease. Try to mostly consume sources of vitamin C that are relatively low in acid, including broccoli and leafy greens. Other nutrients that help the immune system include vitamin E, vitamin A, iron, and selenium.
Your immune system is your body’s line of defense against illness! Taking good care of it can help you to enjoy your life to the fullest.
Meet the Dentist
Dr. Preetha Thomas is a holistic dentist who cares deeply about both her patients’ oral and overall health. She is a member of the International Academy of Biological Dentistry and Medicine, the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, and other prestigious organizations. If you have questions about how oral health can affect overall health, she would be pleased to talk with you. Contact Enclave Dental at 817-912-1218.
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