How Oral Health is Connected To Your Overall Health

How Oral Health is Connected To Your Overall Health

Oral health is often a window to your overall health, but have you ever wondered why?

Your mouth can influence your body more than you think

When you consider the importance of oral health, you may think it's primarily about preventing conditions such as tooth decay and gum disease. However, taking good care of your teeth and gums can improve overall health and well-being.

Studies show poor oral health is linked to heart disease, diabetes, and pregnancy complications. The good news is that, together with your Arizona Smile Design practice team, you can take great care of your oral health and possibly help prevent other health problems.

The warning signs your mouth is giving you

Certain mouth conditions can serve as early warning signs of systemic disease that your doctor can identify. A look inside your mouth - or a professional analysis of your saliva - can reveal more than you think about your overall health.

This includes conditions such as diabetes or thyroid disease, which can cause mouth lesions or other oral health problems in their early stages. In fact, according to the Academy of General Dentistry, more than 90% of systemic diseases produce oral signs and symptoms.

Meanwhile, saliva from the mouth can be tested to help detect a variety of substances related to other health conditions, including:

  • Cortisol levels to assess stress responses in newborn infants.
  • Protein fragments to monitor bone loss in people prone to osteoporosis.
  • Certain cancer markers.

The impact of poor oral health on general health

A person suffering from severe oral health problems may experience other health problems due to their condition.

For example, malocclusion can cause oral function problems due to muscle disharmony, pain, difficulty chewing, swallowing, speech, and periodontal disease. All affect an individual's quality of life. 

Although malocclusion is not considered a disease or a life-threatening condition, it is regarded as a significant health problem worldwide.

Another common oral problem that often affects people with crowded or crooked teeth. This can make it difficult to chew and swallow food, causing the body not to receive the nutrition it needs for optimal health. In addition to malnutrition, this can also make existing health conditions worse.

In addition to affecting physical health, oral and other orthodontic problems can affect mental well-being, with the potential to cause feelings of low self-esteem and social anxiety.

This effect on a person's mental state can harm children's social development and lead to decreased participation in activities at school, work, or in social settings.

Did you know that your oral health offers clues to your overall health? 

The health of your teeth and gums has a significant impact on your overall health, medical costs, and quality of life. 

By examining more than 1,000 medical records, researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry found that people with gum disease were twice as likely to die of a heart attack and three times as likely to have a stroke.

Continued inflammation in the mouth can allow bacteria to enter the bloodstream, linking it to various diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, osteoporosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Some studies point to a reciprocal relationship between gum disease and diabetes.

Gum disease is the most common chronic inflammatory condition in the world, yet it is often a silent disease. Like other areas of the body, the mouth is teeming with bacteria, most of which are harmless. But the mouth is the entry point to the digestive and respiratory tracts, and some bacteria can cause disease. 

How can you protect your oral health? 

Typically, the body's natural defenses and good oral health care, such as daily brushing and flossing, keep bacteria under control and food particles out of your mouth. 

Following a healthy diet and limiting sugary foods and drinks is critical to maintaining good oral health. Avoiding tobacco and drinking plenty of water throughout the day will positively affect your overall health and improve your oral health significantly. 

Braces are often a treatment for malocclusion and crowded or crooked teeth. You can talk to your orthodontist and find out which teeth straightening solution may be right for you based on the results of your oral exam.

You should also remember that your toothbrush needs to be replaced every three to four months, even if you don't see your bristles wearing out! And schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings with your trusted dentist. 

Work with a dentist with whom you feel most comfortable in Sun City West, AZ

The easiest way to combat oral health problems is to practice good oral hygiene. It's true that straighter teeth improve the overall appearance and increase confidence. 

Straightening your crooked teeth, correcting your malocclusion, and treating your dental problems are vital; the more time passes, the greater the risk of associated diseases. Ignoring the most basic symptoms can trigger or hide significant issues that need immediate attention.

That is why it is vital to contact your dentist as soon as a dental health problem arises. Taking care of your oral health is an investment in your overall health, and at Arizona Smile Design, we know that. 

Dr. Mueller and his team of professionals are here to treat you with the best care possible. Visit us or call: (623) 474-3343 and book your appointment today.