Of course you already know that what you put in your mouth affects the health of your body. But did you also know that the condition of your mouth itself could also be a factor in your overall health? Read on to learn about the important connection between oral and overall health from a periodontist in Worcester
The Oral-Systemic Connection
The link between the mouth and body is called the oral-systemic connection. To be more specific, the bacteria in your mouth that cause periodontal disease can lead to health concerns throughout the body.
Gingivitis and periodontitis are the beginning and advanced stages of gum disease, respectively. Both are bacterial infections that can develop as a result of inadequate brushing and flossing. When you brush with fluoride twice a day and floss between your teeth at least once a day, you remove the harmful bacteria that can accumulate in plaque.
If not removed with daily oral hygiene care, plaque builds up between your teeth and along the gum line. Eventually, plaque hardens to become tartar. At this point, bacteria must be removed with professional periodontal therapy. Otherwise, gum disease advances and could eventually weaken your gums, as well as the underlying bone that supports your teeth.
Oral Bacteria and the Rest of Your Body
If the bacteria in your mouth only caused problems there, that would be enough trouble. But these same bacteria are linked to a number of bodily diseases and illnesses.
Why? Because gingivitis and periodontitis often cause bleeding gums, which can give bacteria access to your bloodstream. If this happens, bacteria can move to other parts of your body. Similarly, inhaling deeply can draw bacteria into your respiratory system. That’s how the same bacteria that infect your gums can bring illnesses and diseases such as:
- Heart Attack
- Pregnancy Complications
Most recently, scientists have even discovered an important link between oral bacteria and Alzheimer’s disease.
Oral Health and Overall Health
In addition to daily brushing with fluoride toothpaste and flossing, be sure to schedule twice-yearly dental checkups. Stick to a healthy diet and limit foods that are high in sugar and carbohydrates. For the sake of your oral and general health, avoid tobacco use, too.
If your gums bleed when you floss, this could be a sign of gum disease. Schedule a visit with a periodontist in Worcester, and recommit to a stringent oral hygiene routine at home in order to more effectively remove harmful bacteria.
Meet the Doctors
Dr. Handsman and Dr. Jenny are periodontists in Worcester. Both are trained and skilled in the diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease. They offer both non-surgical and surgical treatments as well as dental implant surgery. Call to schedule an appointment today.