Taking care of your teeth and gums by brushing and flossing daily, and by seeing your dentist at least once a year, isn’t only going to help ensure your smile remains bright and beautiful; it can also be a step towards keeping other areas of your body healthy too. That’s because, when it comes to overall health and dental health, there are more connections than you might think.
This might gross you out a bit, but the reality is that your mouth has a lot of bacteria in it. The good news is that most of that bacteria isn’t harmful, and brushing and flossing daily can do a lot to keep everything in balance.
However, when there are harmful bacteria in your mouth and you aren’t following a strict oral hygiene routine, they could lead to oral problems like tooth decay, infections, inflammation, and gum disease. Plus, there’s a chance the bacteria might spread to other parts of your body and cause other problems, particularly if you have a compromised or weakened immune system for any reason.
Unfortunately, if you have gum disease—and the bacteria that go along with it—the simple act of brushing and flossing might create an entry point for that bacteria to migrate to other parts of your body. And if you have a lot of harmful bacteria in your mouth, they might also end up in your bloodstream if you have to undergo an invasive dental procedure. Yikes!
Sometimes, oral health problems lead to other issues. Other times, the symptoms that show up in your mouth might help your dentist determine if there’s another serious medical problem that you might not know about yet.
There are various conditions that might adversely impact the health of your mouth. For example:
Side note: The medications that you use to treat certain diseases might also impact your teeth and gums, so it’s a good idea to let your dentist know about any prescriptions you’re taking.
Although it might be unnerving to learn that the bacteria in your mouth may boost your risk of several systemic health problems, you can take control with a basic brushing and flossing routine at home. In addition to that, make it a point to regularly see your dentist for checkups and professional cleanings with the help of a high-quality dental insurance.
Let your dentist know about any chronic conditions that you’ve been diagnosed with, as well as the medications you’re using to treat those problems. And if you’re diagnosed with gum or tooth problems, treat them ASAP to help avoid complications.
Remember, it’s all connected: by taking the right steps to keep your teeth and gums healthy, you’ll also be taking steps to keep the rest of your body healthy.