Many believe oral health is different from overall health. But in truth, it is not. The human body needs food, water, and oxygen to sustain and survive. And our mouth is that entry point that allows these to pass through. We all focus on following a nutritious diet, regular workouts, and mental well-being to maintain a healthy lifestyle. But most of us often miss out on taking care of our oral health.
We’ve often heard that ‘your mouth is the gateway to your body.’ It’s not a myth. Your complete well-being depends on your oral health, which is often ignored. This blog will explore how a healthy mouth leads to a healthy mind and body.
The Mouth and Body Connection
There are millions of bacteria inside our mouths. While some are beneficial as they protect your teeth and gums, maintain fresh breath, and aid digestion, others are harmful. Bad oral bacteria work together to cause bad breath, gum disease, cavities, and tooth loss. Practicing a proper oral hygiene routine is crucial to contain harmful bacteria.
Hence, daily brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist for regular check-ups should not be missed. Failing to practice good oral care can lead to gum infections, tooth decay, and other health problems.
Oral Health and Heart Health
Sometimes, harmful bacteria from our mouth can enter the bloodstream due to poor oral care. As said earlier, it can affect the gums and teeth, resulting in infection. This is how dental plaque also develops, affecting your teeth and other organs like the heart and lungs.
A study shows that gum disease accompanied by inflammation and oral bacteria can cause various serious health conditions, including:
The National Library of Medicine published a study that suggests people with periodontal disease have a 19% chance of suffering from heart disease. It increases to 44% in people 65 years and older.
Even the research by the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine declared that people who have lost some or most of their teeth due to periodontal (gum) disease are at a greater risk of having an earlier death.
The inner lining of the valves or heart chambers called the endocardium, gets infected when germs from the mouth enter the blood and fix themselves to particular areas of the heart. Immediate treatment is required, without which it can damage the heart valves.
A person with endocarditis can have symptoms including:
- Fever and chills
- Chest pain while breathing
- Pain in muscles and joints
- Swollen stomach, legs, or feet
- Shortness of breath
Treatment consists of prescribing antibiotics. In some cases, surgery may be required to repair or replace the damaged heart valves.
Oral Health and Digestion
Your digestive journey begins in the mouth. Proper chewing and saliva production are vital for breaking down food effectively. Poor oral health can lead to digestion problems and even malnutrition.
Diabetes and Oral Health
Diabetes brings other health complications, including blindness, kidney failure, and cardiovascular problems. However, diabetes also has an impact on oral health. In simple words, they both share a two-way relationship.
Uncontrolled diabetes can result in gum disease, and gum disease can lead to difficulty in controlling blood sugar levels. Gingivitis and periodontitis, in which the bone and gums supporting the teeth get severely impacted, are the oral diseases associated with diabetes.
Respiratory Health and Oral Health
Bacteria from oral infections can be inhaled into the lungs, causing respiratory infections such as Aspiration Pneumonia. When you follow good oral hygiene, it can help reduce the risk of these infections.
Mental Health and Oral Care
Now, it’s not unknown to anybody how charming it can be to the eyes to witness a beautiful smile! It goes unsaid that when you have a healthy smile, it automatically enhances your self-esteem, thereby improving your mental well-being.
Poor oral health can lead to self-consciousness and even depression in some cases. Smile Designing in Hyderabad can solve all these problems for you!
Maintaining Oral Health
As a result, it is important to maintain your oral health if you want to live a healthier life. Here are some of the ways you can maintain your dental health:
Preventing Gum Disease
When plaque accumulates on your gums and teeth, gum diseases, along with inflammation and infection begin. This can have severe consequences if left untreated. Here is how you can prevent and manage it effectively:
- Brush your teeth correctly in all directions for at least 3-4 minutes to remove plaque effectively without damaging your gums or enamel.
- Flossing gets where your toothbrush can’t. It removes food particles and plaque between your teeth and the gum line. Make sure you floss thrice a week before bedtime.
- Regular visits to your dentist are crucial as dentists can detect the early signs of gum disease and provide professional cleanings.
- A diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins provides essential nutrients for gum health.
- Smoking is injurious to the mouth and lungs and contributes to gum disease. Quitting smoking can greatly improve your oral health.
- Staying hydrated helps maintain a moist environment inside your mouth, keeping bacteria in check and lowering the risk of gum disease.
Maintaining Fresh Breath
Bad breath, called halitosis, can be embarrassing and may indicate underlying oral health issues. Proper oral hygiene, as explained earlier, is the key to getting rid of bad breath.
Besides, regular brushing and flossing, the following are the ways to keep your breath fresh and pleasant:
- Certain foods like garlic, onions, and spicy dishes have a strong odor that lingers in your mouth for a long time. Limit these foods, especially before social occasions. Instead, opt for fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Sugar-free gum or mints can help stimulate saliva production, naturally cleansing your mouth and neutralizing odors. Keep some handy for quick freshness on the go.
- Use an antimicrobial mouthwash to eliminate bacteria that cause bad breath. Rinse as directed on the label, or consult your dentist for recommendations.
Oral health is not limited to having a radiant smile. It encompasses safeguarding your overall health and well-being. Neglecting your oral health can do more harm than good while producing far-reaching consequences on various aspects of your life.
Remember to brush and floss daily and follow a healthy diet. Schedule regular dental check-ups at the best dental hospital in Hyderabad so oral health issues can be diagnosed before they become severe.