When people think about their overall health, they likely think about their weight, their fitness level, their heart health, and various other physical factors. All of those factors are definitely important, but people rarely think of their oral health as being a big factor in their overall health. Instead, they regard it as its own separate thing, important certainly, but not something to consider when thinking about their total health.
However, a person’s dental health is just as important to their overall health as their physical health is. That is why it is necessary that everyone takes care of their oral health as much as they do their physical health. That is also why a person’s dental care is every bit as important as their overall health care. So when it is time to get someone’s dental needs taken care of, they need to see the best person available. If that person happens to live in Wall Township, New Jersey, then Anthony Mancino is the dentist to see. Anyone who lives elsewhere should seek out the best oral health professional they can find in order to maintain both their dental health and their overall health.
The Connection Between Oral Health and General Health
Bacteria is common in different parts of the body and the mouth is no exception. However, since the mouth leads to both the respiratory and digestive systems, any bacteria in the mouth can cause problems in the rest of the body. Most bacteria in the mouth is harmless but if oral health and hygiene are lacking, then dangerous bacteria can fester in the mouth and lead to infections that cause gum disease or tooth decay.
However, harmful bacteria in the mouth can also create a domino effect that leads to other problems in the rest of the body. Ironically, certain medications can lead to harmful bacteria in the mouth. The reason is that some medications reduce saliva flow and saliva neutralizes the acids produced by bacteria in the mouth, which prevents microbes from multiplying and causing disease. Medications to look out for include decongestants, antihistamines, antidepressants, diuretics, and painkillers. Naturally you should take these medicines if you need them, but you should be wary of how they affect your oral health.
Conditions Linked to Oral Health
Some diseases that may seem unrelated to oral health may actually have links to oral health and hygiene. They include the following:
Pneumonia and Other Respiratory Diseases – Harmful bacteria in the mouth can get drawn into the lungs, which can lead to serious respiratory diseases including pneumonia.
Endocarditis – This is an infection of the inner lining of the heart and it is caused when bacteria or germs enter the heart from another part of the body such as the mouth. Those germs or bacteria travel through the bloodstream and into the heart where they attach themselves to damaged parts of the heart. This can lead to deadly complications that may require surgical intervention to fix.
Cardiovascular Disease – Periodontitis is a gum disease but it can also lead to heart disease. This occurs when bad dental health increases the risk of a bacterial infection in the bloodstream. The bacterial infection can travel to the heart and affect its valves. This can be especially serious if a person has artificial heart valves.
Pregnancy Complications – Periodontitis can also have consequences for pregnant women. Research has shown that the bacteria that causes inflammation in the gums can travel through the bloodstream and affect the foetus in pregnant women. This can lead to premature labor or babies that have a low birth weight. While periodontitis is a fairly common gum disease, it occurs more frequently in pregnant women.
How to Take Care of Your Oral Health
In order to protect your oral health—and therefore your overall health—you simply need to practice good oral hygiene. That means brushing at least twice a day, flossing, and using mouthwash. Diet is also important to oral health so you should attempt to eat as healthily as possible and cut down on the amount of sugar that you consume. Smoking is bad for you in many different ways but it is also detrimental to your oral health. And of course you should visit the dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups.
Once you commit to taking good care of your oral health your overall health will improve and you will be at a lower risk of the health complications caused by poor oral hygiene.