The Mouth is the Mirror of Your Body’s Wellness
Did you know that some symptoms and signs of certain diseases will show in the mouth first? That means regular dental checkups can also serve as an early warning system to detect potential health issues!
Research is unearthing evidence that says that skipping mouth care is a dangerous strategy because what begins quietly at the gum line can later set off a chain of events that can lead to heart attack, memory loss, stroke and miscarriage. And of all the measures we know of that can avert a potentially life-threatening disease, oral care is probably one the most effortless activities one can do. Here are five ways good oral health helps keep you well.
Lowers Risk of Heart Disease
Chronic inflammation from gum disease has been associated with the development of cardiovascular problems such as heart disease, blockages of blood vessels, and strokes.
Experts stop short of saying there is a cause-and-effect between gum disease and these other serious health problems, but the link has shown up in numerous studies. The findings of these studies may suggest that maintaining oral health can help protect overall health.
Preserves Your Memory
Adults with gingivitis (swollen, bleeding gums) performed worse on tests of memory and other cognitive skills than did those with healthier gums and mouths, according to a report in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.
Those with gingivitis were more likely to perform poorly on two tests: delayed verbal recall and subtraction – both skills used in everyday life.
Using an antibacterial mouthwash or toothpaste can help reduce bacteria in the mouth that can cause gingivitis.
Reduces Risks of Infection and Inflammation in Your Body
Poor oral health has been linked with the development of infection in other parts of the body.
Research has found an association between gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the joints. Experts say the mechanism of the destruction of connective tissues in both gum disease and RA is similar. Eating a balanced diet, seeing your dentist regularly, and good oral hygiene helps reduce your risks of tooth decay and gum disease. Make sure you brush twice a day and floss and use an antiseptic mouthwash once a day.
Helps Keep Blood Sugar Stable
People with uncontrolled diabetes often have gum disease. Having diabetes can make you less able to fight off infection, including gum infections that can lead to serious gum disease.
And some experts have found that if you have diabetes, you are more likely to develop more severe gum problems than someone without diabetes. That, in turn, may make it more difficult to control blood sugar levels.
Reducing your risk of gingivitis by protecting your oral health may help with blood sugar control if you have been diagnosed with diabetes.
Helps Pregnant Women Carry a Baby to Term
Women may experience increased gingivitis during pregnancy. Some research suggests a relationship between gum disease and preterm, low-birthweight infants.
Not all studies have found a solid link, but maintaining good oral health is still the best goal. If you’re pregnant, visit your dentist or periodontist as part of your prenatal care. Consider it good practice for the role modeling that lies ahead for all new parents.
Simple Ways to Protect Oral and Overall Health
Always brush your teeth twice a day
Eat a healthy, balanced diet
Avoid sugary soda or any candy that stays in the mouth for an extended period of time
Visit the dentist at least twice a year, maybe more if needed.
Sources: WebMD.com, DoctorOz.com