How important is oral health for overall health??

Maintaining good oral hygiene keeps the body healthy. Oral cavity consists of countless bacteria, if oral hygiene is not maintained properly, it may affect one’s overall health.

Your mouth is a window into what’s going on in the rest of your body, often serving as a helpful important point for detecting the early signs and symptoms of many medical conditions. Normally there is very less chance for bacteria in your mouth to enter into the bloodstream. However, some dental treatments which are invasive, sometimes even just regular brushing and flossing if you have gum disease can provide a way of entry for these bacteria. Some antibiotics and medications which reduce saliva flow disrupt the normal balance of bacteria and compromise your mouth’s normal defenses, allowing these bacteria to enter your bloodstream.

Bacteria from oral infections can enter the bloodstream or airways and travel to other parts of the body. These bacteria have the potential to worsen or increase the risk for other types of health problems such as heart disease, stroke and respiratory problems.  People living with diabetes are prone to a variety of bacterial infections, including gum disease.

Oral infections can make it difficult to control diabetes and cause complications, since the bacteria from severe gum disease may increase both blood sugar levels and the length of time the body struggles with high blood sugar.

It is important for pregnant women to take care of their oral health, as the bacteria from gum disease may trigger an inflammatory response that might induce premature labor and delivery. Poor oral health has been linked to sleeping problems, as well as behavioral and developmental problems in children. Regular visits to a dentist and effective oral care can prevent and control gum diseases or even reverse them in early stages.

Below are some tips to have a healthy mouth:

  1. Schedule dentist appointments, it is important to maintain good oral hygiene
  2. Brush twice a day for two minutes using a soft toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste.
  3. Cleaning or flossing once a day to remove food and plaque is important.
  4. Clean or scrape the tongue daily.
  5. Using mouth rise after consulting your dentist is recommended.
  6. Check gums/mouth regularly and report any changes or signs of gum disease to a dentist.
  7. Conduct self-examinations for oral cancer. If anything abnormal is noted, you should consult a specialist
  8. Eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet and clean your mouth with water every time after eating
  9. Don’t smoke or use smokeless tobacco, it increases the risk of oral and many other types of cancers.

REFERENCES:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475

https://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health

By,

Dr. Y. Alekhya

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