How does your oral health affect general wellness?
Posted on 2/21/2022 by Bryan Neu
|Researchers agree that there is a synergistic relationship between an individual's oral health and general well-being. Oral health is significant and fundamental to the quality of life. Oral health gives clues on the status of the body's overall health. The mouth, a mirror to the body, helps reveal nutritional deficiencies, signs of oral cancers and diseases, and diseases caused by unhealthy habits, for example, smoking, alcohol, and drug abuse. Therefore, bad oral health negatively affects the general health of an individual.
Oral health as a window to overall health
As the mouth teems with bacteria and is the entry point to the digestive and respiratory systems, most of these bacteria, though harmless, can sip into your other body organs and cause infections if proper hygiene is not observed. Oral health can contribute to various diseases and disorders of the body.
Endocarditis and pneumonia
This is the infection of the heart valves or chambers (endocardium). This happens when bacteria from another part of the body, for example, the mouth, sip into the bloodstream and lodge or attach in the regions of the heart. The same harmful bacteria in the mouth can be pulled or move to the lungs causing lung and respiratory diseases like pneumonia.
Research has it that people who have diabetes also suffer from gum diseases. Diabetes hinders the body's ability to resist infection, putting the gums and teeth at risk. Also, people with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing oral diseases due to increased sugar levels in their bodies. They have great glucose levels in their saliva, causing dental caries and decay. Patients also tend to eat more throughout the day, which increases the chances of bacteria to thrive, leading to oral diseases.
Osteoporosis, eating disorders, certain malignant conditions, immune disorders, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer's disease, and cardiovascular diseases are linked to oral health. Dental hygiene, healthy diets, avoiding tobacco and drugs, and visiting a dentist regularly are advised habits to ensure your oral health is in check.