The Link Between Oral Health and Overall Health

Do you know oral health is closely linked to overall health and well-being? While you may think of oral health as simply having healthy teeth and gums, it’s much more than that. Poor oral hygiene can lead to various health problems beyond just dental issues. When you visit Dr. Jeremy K. Ueno, you will understand that there is a strong connection between oral health and systemic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, respiratory infections, and even dementia.

The health of your mouth can impact the health of other parts of your body because it serves as the entrance to your body. Bacteria accumulating in your mouth can travel through your bloodstream to other parts of your body, causing infections and inflammation. Additionally, certain oral health conditions, such as periodontal disease, have been linked to an increased risk of developing chronic health problems.

Given the strong link between oral health and overall health, it is vital to maintain good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing and flossing regularly, visiting your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings, and avoiding tobacco products.

Ways in which poor oral health can affect your overall health

Poor oral health can have a variety of negative impacts on your overall health. Here are some of the ways in which poor oral health can affect your body:

  • Heart disease: According to studies, people with periodontal disease, a serious gum infection that weakens the bone supporting your teeth and damages soft tissue, are more likely to have heart disease. The bacteria from the infected gums can enter your bloodstream, attach to fatty deposits in your heart’s blood vessels, and cause blood clots that can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
  • Diabetes: Poor oral health is also linked to an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The inflammation caused by gum disease can impair the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, leading to insulin resistance and higher blood glucose levels.
  • Respiratory infections: Bacteria from the mouth can be breathed into the lungs and cause respiratory infections such as pneumonia, especially in people with weakened immune systems.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes joint inflammation. People with poor oral health are more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Dementia: An increased risk of dementia, including Alzheimer’s, is also associated with poor oral health. The bacteria that cause gum disease may pass into the brain through the bloodstream or nerve pathways and aid in the onset of dementia.
  • Pregnancy complications: Poor oral hygiene increases the risk of preterm labor and low birth weight babies.
  • Digestive problems: Poor oral health can also lead to digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome and gastric ulcers. Bacteria from the mouth can travel through the digestive system and cause inflammation and infection.

Poor oral health can have serious implications for your overall health. Taking care of your teeth and gums can reduce your risk of developing these health problems and improve your overall well-being.

Schedule a dental check-up with your dentist at Ueno Center and start prioritizing your oral health.

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