Did you know that your oral heath has a direct correlation with your overall health? Researchers have known about this for some time but it hasn’t been widely discussed. At Portner Pittack, we care about the relationship between the two and want to share the honest truth about oral health and how it relates to your overall health.
The facts about oral health and overall health
Researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry found that gum disease is linked to a host of illnesses, such as heart disease, respiratory disease and even diabetes.
Their research showed that people suffering from gum disease were twice as likely to die from a heart attack and three times as likely to have a stroke.
Gum disease is incredibly common. In fact, it’s the most common chronic inflammatory condition in the world.
An inflammation of your mouth that is left untreated can allow bacteria to enter your bloodstream and from there it can affect other parts of your body like the heart.
Severe gum disease is also linked to osteoporosis, which is when your bones become weak and brittle. It is suggested that osteoporosis might be linked to tooth loss.
Can poor overall health affect my oral health?
The short answer is yes. Things can work the other way round, which means bad overall health could lead to poor oral health.
If you are regularly taking medicines such as decongestants, painkillers or antihistamines your oral health may be at risk in time.
These medicines can reduce the flow of saliva your mouth produces. Saliva is crucial in washing away food and defusing acids that come from the bacteria in your mouth.
Certain diseases such as diabetes and HIV/AIDS actually lower your bodies’ resistance to infections, which can make your oral health problems worse.
What can I do about it?
If you’re fortunate enough to not suffer from any poor overall health conditions, there is a lot you can do to make sure you remain fit and healthy for life. It might sound obvious but you really do need to practice good oral health every single day.
Brush your teeth twice a day and make sure to floss regularly. You are what you eat, so start eating a healthy and balanced diet, which isn’t sugary or damaging to the teeth.
You should replace your toothbrush every 3 months. If the bristles start to become frail you should look to replace the brush a lot sooner.
Regular routine checkups will help diagnose problems at a very early stage. It’s also an opportunity to be reminded of good oral health so that you can avoid treatments further down the line.