Oral Hygiene and Overall Health: Why A Healthy Mouth Protects Your Whole Body
Who knew how much oral health affects our entire body and overall health?
What’s in your mouth reveals much about your oral hygiene and overall health. A drop of saliva has more bacteria than you will ever want to know about. The eight to twelve types of bad bacteria can cause inflammation in your mouth and your entire body, which can lead to serious illness. However, there is little need to worry about it if your family keeps up it routine dental care.
The American Academy for Oral Systemic Health (AAOSH) is an organization of health care leaders and professionals dedicated to the relationship between oral health and whole body health.
Dr. Dan Sindelar, the co-founder of the AAOSH, explains “the destructive forces of periodontal disease (oral biofilm) are the destructive forces of systemic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, etc.”
3 Statistics that Show Why Oral Hygiene is Important to Protect your Health
Dr. Sindelar has documented recent research indicating the following results:
1. 50% of heart attacks are triggered by oral pathogens (organisms that cause disease.)
2. Periodontal (gum) disease is a big risk for strokes and high blood pressure.
3. Six oral spirochetes (spiral shaped bacteria which are serious pathogens for humans) appear to cause Alzheimer’s disease.
Many of us put our dental checkups. desired teeth whitening, and treatments off due to lack of time or funds. However, it might be time to move our oral health higher up on the priority list, and kill a few birds with one stone by reducing the risk of serious disease and having a healthy mouth at the same time. Consistent brushing, flossing, and regular checkups are the key to preventative care and will save you time and money in the long run! Now that we understand the impact oral health has on our entire body, it’s imperative to get our kids into good habits at a young age, as well. It is a great way to prevent the need for some oral surgeries as an adult.
Sugar is Not the Only Thing that May Damage Your Dental Health!
Most of us know the most common things that may damage our teeth: sticky candy, sugary treats and beverages, juice filled baby bottles, and grinding our teeth at night. However, there are other behaviors we can change to protect our mouths that might not be so obvious!
1. Do you chew on ice? It may seem harmless because ice is sugar-free and not sticky, but over time cracked enamel and soft tissue damage can lead to significant pain when eating hot and cold foods.
2. Is it hard to resist popcorn “old maids?” No need for explanation here! Plain and simple –stop munching before you get to the bottom of the bowl or it’s just a matter of time before you feel a chunk of enamel floating around in your mouth!
3. Do you have a tongue or lip piercing? Biting down on a piece of metal by accident may not only be painful but will likely result in a trip to the dentist for repairs. Metal rubbing against the gums, causing damage to the tissue, can also result in losing teeth. Mouth piercings may raise the risk of infections and sores due to bacteria, as well.
4. Are you a chip eater? The bacteria in plaque will break starchy foods like potato chips, into enamel attacking acid. Floss after eating foods that tend to get stuck between your teeth.
5. Do you mindlessly chew on a pencil or pen when you are focusing on work? Or have a tendency to grind your teeth in your sleep? Again, the result may be chipped or cracked teeth. Sugarless gum might fulfill that chewing habit and create a saliva flow, which protects against damaging acids.
6. Do you or does your child wear a mouth guard when playing contact sports? Shielding those pearly whites will help to avoid losing or damaging the teeth when the play gets tough. If part of it is hanging out of the mouth, it doesn’t count!
A More Attractive Smile is on the Horizon
At your consultation you and your dentist will develop a treatment plan to give you a better looking smile with a more natural proportion of teeth and gums. You will be impressed with images that show the before and after difference of our orthodontic care.