Regular brushing and flossing and consistent visits to your favorite dentist can protect you far from more than just cavity. Links between your oral health and your general health are proven to have a synergistic effect on each other.
Practicing proper oral hygiene helps to keep teeth and gum problems at bay. In contrast, neglecting to maintain proper oral hygiene can leave you susceptible to various gum disease and mouth problems.
Remember, all of our mouths are teeming with bacteria, both good and bad. When the bad bacteria which cause inflammation get out of hand, they can have detrimental effects in the whole body.
Dangers of Bacterial Plaque and Gingivitis
Bacterial plaque constantly forms in biofilms on the teeth every day. Everything we drink and eat, especially those foods that contain sugars or starches, help to provide these bacteria nests or homes in the mouth. These nests are created from sticky biofilms which keep the acidity from the bacteria contact with the teeth, eventually causing tooth decay.
In 2009, American Academy of Periodontology and The American Journal of Cardiology explored the correlation between heart disease and gum disease.  A correlation was found between having gum disease, and the likelihood of having a serious cardiac event like a heart attack.
Inflammation and infection caused by periodontal or gum disease can also affect the immune system. When toxic bacteria spread in the body, it can be easily absorbed by the bloodstream. The presence of this pathogenic bacteria in the body can stress the immune system, and is thought to create a low-grade inflammation throughout the body.
Oral Systemic Link
Heart Disease– Toxic bacteria in the mouth can travel through the bloodstream and reach the heart. It has also been associated with an increased risk of a heart attack or stroke.  Given the strong links that have been found between the heart and the mouth, it is more important than ever to keep your gums and teeth healthy!
Diabetes– Periodontal disease is common among people who have diabetes because of their body’s low immune system. In addition, diabetics may have an increased level of glucose in the mouth.  Therefore, maintaining a healthy mouth is even more important in those who have diabetes.
Cognitive Impairment– Depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease have all been associated with periodontal disease. Research done in Taiwan found out that people with a 10-year or longer history of chronic periodontal disease had a significant increased risk of developing dementia leading to Alzheimer’s disease. 
Lung Disease– Bacteria that cause respiratory diseases like bronchitis and pneumonia have also been linked to the bacteria in the mouth.
Those with poor oral hygiene will have more of the bad bacteria which can cause these issues. Therefore, those with healthier mouths are less likely to develop such conditions due to their oral conditions.
Get Healthy, Stay Healthy
Too often, the mouth is neglected when we think of our overall health. The bacteria in our mouths can affect almost everything else, so keeping a healthy mouth can keep the bacteria from having negative effects on the rest of the body.
Often, all that is needed to maintain a healthy mouth is regular dental visits that alone can reduce inflammation and control disease as soon as it starts. If it’s been a while since your last dental visit, call Energetic Smile today! Together we can keep your mouth, and therefore your body, healthier.
- Dangers of Plaque & Gingivitis to Your Health. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/plaque-on-teeth#1-2 (accessed June 15, 2018)
- Mayo Clinic. (2016 April 30) Adult Health – Oral health: A window to your overall health. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475 (accessed June 15, 2018)
- Diabetes and Periodontal Disease. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/periodontal-disease#1 (accessed June 15, 2018)
- Gum disease linked to increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. (2017 August 22) Retrieved from https://www.nhs.uk/news/neurology/gum-disease-linked-increased-risk-alzheimers-disease/ (accessed June 15, 2018)
- Rajiv Saini & Santosh Saini, et.al. (2010 Jul-Sep 27) Periodontitis: A risk factor to respiratory diseases. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2946730/ (accessed June 15, 2018)