December 6, 2023
After you visit the dentist for a professional cleaning, you may feel fresh and invigorated. However, that good feeling is just one minor benefit you get from your routine dental visits. In fact, your excellent habits could have major benefits for your overall wellness. What exactly is the link between oral hygiene and overall health? This blog post explains.
Oral and Overall Health: A Strong Connection
What happens in your mouth can have profound consequences for the rest of your body. In fact, poor oral health is associated with a heightened risk of numerous serious medical conditions, including:
- Heart disease. The harmful bacteria that cause gum disease can sneak into your bloodstream and cause widespread inflammation. It can even increase your risk of heart attack, high blood pressure, and other heart-related conditions.
- Respiratory infections. Oral bacteria can be inhaled and cause problems in the lungs.
- Diabetes. People with gum disease may be more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, and diabetics find their condition more difficult to manage if they have untreated gum disease.
- Dementia. Uncontrolled gum disease is correlated with an increased risk of cognitive decline and dementia.
- Pregnancy complications. Pregnant individuals with poor oral health are more likely to suffer complications, including preterm birth.
How Oral Hygiene Can Help
The above information might seem a little scary, but there is no need to be overly alarmed. There is good news! A solid oral hygiene routine can keep harmful bacteria at bay, helping you to maintain a balanced oral microbiome that is good for both your dental health and overall wellness. For example, oral hygiene can play a major role in preventing gum disease, which is a risk factor for all of the health problems mentioned above.
Maintain an Excellent Oral Hygiene Routine
There are some simple things you can do to maintain a clean and healthy mouth:
- Attend a professional teeth cleaning twice a year. If you are prone to gum disease, more frequent visits might be necessary.
- Brush and floss regularly. Brushing should be done twice a day, and flossing should be done once a day.
- Stay hydrated. Sipping on water throughout the day can help to rinse away food particles and unwanted bacteria.
- Eat a reasonable diet. Starchy and sugary foods promote the growth of oral bacteria, so try to enjoy them only in moderation. In contrast, crunchy fruits and vegetables, such as carrots and apples, can help to clean the mouth.
- Avoid bad habits. Tobacco use and overconsumption of alcohol are associated with a heightened risk of gum disease.
A clean mouth contributes to a healthy body! Use the above information to protect your overall wellness.
Meet the Practice
Dr. Preetha Thomas is a holistic dentist who always seeks to promote healthy habits, including a good oral hygiene routine. If you would like her advice on how you can maintain a clean mouth, she would be happy to speak with you. To learn more about our practice or to book a checkup and cleaning, contact Enclave Dental at 817-912-1218.
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