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Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body. Can Oral Health Affect My Overall Health?
21 August 2018

We all know oral health is important, but it’s often easy to forget just how important it is to brush, floss, gargle, and schedule regular check-ups. Dental on Clarendon is passionate about encouraging good dental and overall health, which is why we decided to tackle this often overlooked – but important correlation. Read on to learn how your dental hygiene might affect your overall health, and vice versa.

The mouth’s effect on the body

Poor oral health can manifest in a number of ways. It can mean painful and bleeding gums, tooth decay, loose or missing teeth, or infections. Whereas dental health today is often seen as a cosmetic issue more so than a health concern, there is no denying that oral health affects your body’s overall health. Some of the conditions that can be caused or worsened by poor dental hygiene is:

Cardiovascular disease: Some studies have found a possible link between infections of the oral cavity and heart disease and clogged arteries.

Endocarditis: More commonly known as inflammation of the heart’s inner lining is typically caused by bacteria and germs from other parts of the body attaching themselves to damaged parts of your heart. These bacteria can come from all over, including your mouth, which is rich in harmful bacteria. If you suffer from an open lesion or an infection of the mouth it can cause bacteria to enter your bloodstream and find their way to your heart valves and lining.

Pregnancy complications: Infections of the oral cavities have been linked with preterm births and low birth weights, as bacteria from the mouth can make their way through the bloodstream to the placenta and baby.

Your mouth speaks volumes about your body’s health

Finally, it’s important to say that while dental health can affect your overall health, your teeth are also a good indication of your overall health. This is a two-way street after all. Many health conditions – often more serious ones such as Alzheimer’s, HIV/AIDS, eating disorders, thyroid problems, high blood pressure, kidney disease, leukemia, and diabetes – can manifest in your oral cavity. That’s why gum disease, painful lesions, and a deteriorating oral health are not only causes for concern when it comes to your oral health, but for your body’s health in general. Vitamin and nutrition deficiencies can also manifest in your teeth, as well as anxiety and a range of other conditions. If you find yourself with mystery dental problems, it might be time to visit the dentist and GP for a thorough check-up.

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