Oral Health Resources | 28 February, 2024

Six Ways Your Dental Health Can Affect the Health of Your Body

Brushing your teeth, flossing and visiting the dentist regularly are not just important for your smile or your ability to enjoy delicious meals. Your oral health is also an important part of your overall health.

A growing body of research has revealed there is an intimate connection between your oral health and at least six crucial health conditions: Heart Disease, Diabetes, Alzheimer's Disease, Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes, Lung Conditions, and Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Understanding the dental health connections with the rest of your body can empower you to take better care of your oral health, leading to a healthier, happier life, so let's take a closer look at the six main ways your dental health can be impacting the health of the rest of your body.

Heart Disease and Oral Health

Although the most important behavioural risk factors of heart disease and stroke are unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use and harmful use of alcohol, many people are unaware that their dental health is also closely linked to heart disease.

Your heart and mouth may seem unrelated, but research increasingly suggests that poor oral health can impact cardiovascular health.

Gum disease, or periodontitis, causes chronic inflammation, allowing harmful bacteria to enter your bloodstream. Once they get into your bloodstream, these bacteria can travel throughout your body and trigger inflammation in your heart's vessels and infection in your heart valves. They can also contribute to the formation of arterial plaques, increasing your risk of heart disease, heart attacks and strokes.

Practising good dental hygiene can help you prevent and manage these systemic health conditions.

Brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing at least once a day, drinking water and eating a balanced and nutritious diet looks after the health of your teeth as well as having a positive impact on the health of the rest of your body.

To floss your teeth correctly, follow these simple steps:

🦷 Dispense about 30-40 cm of dental floss.
🦷 Hold a short amount of floss between both hands and gently insert it between your teeth.
🦷 Curve the floss around each tooth in a "C" shape.
🦷 Move the floss in a back-and-forth and up-and-down motion
🦷 Be careful not to apply too much pressure and use a new, clean section of floss for each tooth.

Having regular dental check-ups will allow your dentist to monitor or stabilise any diseases in your mouth, preventing harmful bacteria from entering your bloodstream and spreading to other organs in your body.

And if you are already suffering from conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, adverse pregnancy outcomes, lung conditions, and inflammatory bowel disease your dentist can also help you manage symptoms of these diseases, such as mouth ulcers, common for IBS sufferers and gum swelling, common in pregnancy.



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