Developing a healthy oral routine ensures a healthy body that goes a long way. Good oral hygiene improves your teeth, gums, overall health and reduces the risk of any nasty diseases. Neglecting hygiene habits like brushing, flossing, using mouthwash and visiting a dentist regularly can lead to health problems later in life. Research shows that there is a connection between oral health and overall health like heart disease, pneumonia, kidney disease, and even pregnancy issues. A healthy habit followed religiously now, will pay you later. Let’s have a look at what impact does unhealthy oral health has on our overall health other than the bad breath of course.
- Cardiovascular problems
Studies show that people with a periodontal disease like gum inflammation are at higher risk of cardiovascular problems like strokes, blockage of blood vessels, and heart disease. Extended bacterial exposure increases the gum inflammation which in turn increases inflammation in the entire body which leads to cardiovascular disease. Maintaining good oral health can protect you from these heart diseases. When visiting your dentist, tell them about your family history of heart disease too, as it can help them to examine from the cardiologist’s point of view also.
If you are someone who loves to indulge in sweet, sugary stuff all the time, then it’s time for your dental as well as diabetes checkup. Studies show that there is a direct link between diabetes and gum infection. People with diabetes can contribute to gum infection as it affects the blood glucose levels. Carbohydrate metabolism deteriorates in the presence of bacteria during periodontal infection. This leads to increased insulin resistance which spikes up the blood glucose levels. If you can relate to this, then it’s time to take charge of your teeth health. Cut down on sugar and sugary things, as it affects your fighting capacity towards infection. People with diabetes have a higher probability of getting severe gum problems than the others.
- Lung infections
The association of lung infections with poor oral hygiene has been long debated. Studies have proven that the bacteria caused due to gum infection causes pneumonia and other respiratory diseases. People with gum infections are likely to breathe in more bacteria leading to lung infections. But if you are already suffering from lung disease like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), you must get your gum infection treated immediately, as it can make it worse. Sometimes, respiratory infections may lead to serious breathing problems and an alternate airway needs to be created to save the patient from life-threatening situations. A paramedic or a doctor with a good cricothyrotomy kit can create an alternate airway through the thorax by puncturing the skin locally.
Oral checkup becomes even more important during pregnancy. Women who are pregnant and have gum diseases are likely to have premature babies, develop gestational diabetes, or have an underweight baby. Pregnant women should take extra care about their oral health. They must go for regular dental checkups and make sure their oral hygiene is on point as it is very important during pregnancy. Studies suggest trimester wise oral hygiene steps that help during pregnancy. Consult your doctor and take proper education regarding any of the dental care technique you are getting into, whether it is safe for the baby or not. Take extra care of your teeth during pregnancy as its beneficial for you and your baby too.
- Kidney functions
Studies prove that people with gum infections are susceptible to renal failure or reduction in kidney function. Renal insufficiency is a life-threatening disease that requires rigorous treatment. People with renal insufficiency has the same risk factors as those with heart disease, that link to periodontal disease.
Studies prove that oral health is linked to cognitive functioning. Adults with swollen or bleeding gums were affected by poor word recall and verbal fluency. This happens due to a specific gum disease bacteria in the brain. The bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis enters the brain while doing activities like brushing the teeth or undergoing some dental treatment. This bacteria, therefore, can aggravate the condition of the brain in Alzheimer’s disease causing poor memory. People perform poor in memory tests, verbal tests, and other cognitive skills as compared to those with healthier gums. To prevent this, use an antibacterial mouthwash to reduce the bacteria in the mouth.
So, improve your health by taking care of your oral health. There should be a balance between both oral health and a healthy body. Go for dental appointment regularly, as early detection of gum infection can prevent many diseases. This will also give enough time for doctors to screen chronic diseases if any. Change your brush in every 6 months. Make a habit to clean your tongue, every time you brush your teeth. You might get gag reflex when using a tongue cleaner, but it will reduce gradually. Floss your teeth once every week at least. Also see your dentist twice a year for cleaning of your teeth.
Ross is a blogger who loves to write especially in the Health vertical. He has written many informative Blogs. He has also written blogs in other verticals too like personal development, unique gifting blogs.