It’s no secret that oral health matters, as it helps prevent bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease. Yet, Colgate explains that researchers continue to discover new reasons to brush and floss. A healthy mouth can actually ward off medical disorders, while evidence suggests that an unhealthy mouth can increase one’s risk of serious health problems. Some of these include heart attack, stroke, poorly controlled diabetes and even preterm labor. To better understand the connection between oral and overall health, continue reading below.
The mouth provides important clues into an individual’s overall health. By collecting a sample of saliva and studying cortisol levels, doctors can test for stress responses in newborn children. In turn, bone-specific proteins offer information about bone loss and one’s susceptibility to osteoporosis. Saliva testing is also an important diagnostic tool for detecting and monitoring diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, cirrhosis and other infections. Other more obvious signs and symptoms such as lesions or dry mouth provide a window into systemic diseases including HIV/AIDS, Diabetes and cancer.
Saliva also contains enzymes that destroy bacteria by degrading the membranes of certain systems. Even so, it cannot wash away all of the harmful effects of plaque when an individual neglects brushing and flossing regularly. As the sticky, colorless substance clings to teeth and gums, it leads to inflammation and irritation. When this happens, an individual might notice that their gums bleed from time to time. This is an early stage of gum disease called Gingivitis. While Gingivitis can be reversed with good oral care, it can advance into periodontitis if left unchecked.
Though a bacterium from the mouth doesn’t pose a problem to a person with a healthy immune system, the same cannot be said of one with a weakened immune system. In fact, if a person has uncontrolled diabetes, pre-existing heart disease or cancer, oral bacteria can lead to infection in other parts of the body.
Preventative Dentistry To Preserve Oral And Overall Health
At Grateful Dental, Dr. Leia Porcaro places a high value on preventative dentistry as a way to preserve one’s oral and overall health. To make a healthy investment into your future, call Grateful Dental today!