How Oral Health Can Affect Your Overall Health

How Oral Health Can Affect Your Overall Health
23 Oct 2021

Photo by Diana Polekhina on Unsplash

One common misconception surrounding oral health is that it’s somehow separate from the rest of the body. For example, dental insurance is typically offered in addition to health insurance policies, rather than as part of the same package.

Even people who generally look after their health can fall into the trap of neglecting their teeth. While good oral and dental health are seen as important, it can be easy to view it as an “optional extra” and primarily a cosmetic concern. However, oral health has far-reaching consequences for our general well-being as well.

A Portal For Infection

Human mouths are teeming with bacteria, either native to the body or from the outside world. Usually, this isn’t a problem. Native bacteria are completely harmless and usually beneficial to our health. But some of the other bacteria are a different tale.

Our body has several defense mechanisms to protect from bacteria that enter our mouths. In a healthy mouth, the bacteria can’t go anywhere but into the digestive tract, where it is broken down. Our saliva also prevents damage caused by any of these bacteria.

Good oral health care and hygiene keep bacteria under control, helping the body to handle anything that remains after brushing and flossing. Neglecting oral hygiene, however, can lead to an oral infection, such as tooth decay and gum disease.

The inflammation and damage caused by these conditions provide bacteria with a way into the body, potentially leading to serious infections like endocarditis or pneumonia. While poor oral hygiene increases the risks of these conditions, they can occur in other scenarios as well, so you should pay attention if they do.

An Early Warning System

Several conditions have been linked to oral health. For example, gum disease appears to be both more frequent and more severe with diabetes patients. Gum disease can also make it more difficult to control blood sugar levels.

Other chronic conditions that can affect your oral health are HIV/AIDS, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and certain cancers. Often, this is because of a reduced ability to fight infection or damage to the structure of the mouth.

If your oral health has suddenly started to suffer, then you should visit a dentist and a doctor to get it checked out. You might just need some medication or a change in your lifestyle, or it could be a sign of a severe health problem.

Quality of Life

Poor oral or dental health also has a huge effect on your quality of life. Anyone who has suffered from toothache or an abscess will agree with that. The pain can make you miserable, cause sleepless nights, and make it difficult to eat.

Throughout their lives, some people may lose their teeth. This can also have several effects on your well-being. It can be upsetting to have a part of your smile disappear, but a missing tooth also makes it difficult to speak or eat. It’s beneficial to make an appointment somewhere like the Sage Dental Implant and Smile Centre to see how you can get help.

Big Daddy

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Craig Silva

Craig is a husband, a father, team leader, senior youth group coordinator, designer, brander, community builder, volunteer, travel writer, and social media strategist. Craig likes to travel, go camping, go on road trips, watch movies, read with his girls, build stuff, operate the grill, and sing with his band. Craig is a member of the Travel Media Association of Canada. In June 2017, PR firm Cision identified Craig as one of Canada’s top 10 most popular male bloggers in the parents and family space. Known as Big Daddy Kreativ, his blog specializes in travel, food, and lifestyle.

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