How Your Teeth Affect Your Body’s Health

You may have pondered how much it costs to keep up a healthy smile, but how much does an unhealthy smile cost you?

When considering the potential impacts of an unhealthy smile, you think of yellow or crooked teeth, bad breath, or even tooth loss. But a lack of oral hygiene can lead to health problems in your mouth.

Your body is made of interconnected systems, and the mouth serves as the primary gateway for what enters the body. That means that an unhealthy mouth can result in health problems elsewhere in your body. Similarly, the mouth can serve as a diagnostic tool for other health issues that seem to have little to do with your smile.

Your body is full of bacteria – don’t worry, for the most part, this is good bacteria. A healthy mouth needs enough good bacteria to fight off disease-carrying microorganisms that enter when you breathe, drink, or eat.

Unfortunately, not all bacteria are so beneficial. When you consume sugar or carbohydrates, plaque naturally forms on the teeth. If you do not brush or floss it away regularly, certain bacteria will feed on plaque, and produce acid that damages your teeth and can lead to tooth decay over time.

How Your Oral Health Affects Your Body’s Health

These are the bacteria that lead to oral health issues you may already be aware of — gum disease, tooth decay, tooth loss, etc. But these issues of weak teeth, inflammation, and bleeding gums allow other harmful bacteria to enter your bloodstream.

Health Conditions Linked to Your Oral Health

Your oral health can lead to a number of bodily failures, including but not limited to:

  • Heart disease: Research suggests that bacteria can enter through the mouth and make their way directly to the heart, leading to cardiovascular problems.
  • Stroke: Bacteria can cause inflammation in your arteries, leading to a stroke.
  • Lung disease: Your mouth is directly connected to your respiratory system, allowing bacteria to enter the lungs and worsen health conditions like pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD).
  • Arthritis: Evidence suggests that bacteria can increase the pain caused by this inflammatory disease, particularly rheumatoid arthritis.

Health Conditions Linked to Your Oral Health

Your oral health can lead to a number of bodily failures, including but not limited to:

  • Heart disease: Research suggests that bacteria can enter through the mouth and make their way directly to the heart, leading to cardiovascular problems.
  • Stroke: Bacteria can cause inflammation in your arteries, leading to a stroke.
  • Lung disease: Your mouth is directly connected to your respiratory system, allowing bacteria to enter the lungs and worsen health conditions like pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD).
  • Arthritis: Evidence suggests that bacteria can increase the pain caused by this inflammatory disease, particularly rheumatoid arthritis.

How Your Body’s Health Affects Your Teeth

We’ve examined how your oral health can affect your overall health. But did you know that the opposite is also true? Some health conditions can make it more difficult for patients to maintain a healthy smile:

  • Diabetes: People with diabetes are more likely to develop gum disease and are more likely to have more severe forms of the disease, such as periodontitis.
  • Pregnancy: The rush of hormones that accompanies pregnancy often exaggerates existing oral health problems.

What to do to Prevent these Impacts

The following advice may seem obvious and overstated. However, we cannot stress how important it is to keep up with these practices. You would be surprised how often people miss the little things and what a big impact they can have on your overall health.

  • Brush your teeth: The Australian Dental Association recommends that you brush your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day. The technique you use and the kind of toothbrush you use all matter too. That should eliminate most of the plaque that builds up on your teeth over the course of the day and during the night.
  • Floss daily: Brushing your teeth gets rid of most, but not all, of your plaque. Unfortunately, your teeth can have some hard-to-reach spots in which plaque can fester and turn into tartar, which is much harder to remove and can create further damage. Flossing lets you reach those difficult spots to get rid of more plaque.
  • Schedule a professional clean every 4-6 months: Only professional teeth cleaning can completely remove tartar from your teeth. That’s why we recommend getting a teeth cleaning regularly. This is also the perfect opportunity for your dentist to examine your teeth for signs of other oral health issues. That way, we can prevent problems or deal with them while they’re still minor.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to give us a ring and we’d be happy to help.

FAIRFIELD 02 9723 3366

GREGORY HILLS 02 7200 7333

Your Smile, Our Passion.

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