Oral Care and Your Overall Health
Dentists have known that “your mouth is the window to your body.” This simply means that a dentist can see a lot about your overall health through the status of your mouth. If you have a mouth that is in top condition, it is likely that you are an overall healthy individual. This isn’t to say that everything can be diagnosed through issues with your dental health, but many health conditions can also manifest symptoms through your mouth. If you take good care of your oral health, it can actually help to improve your immune system and boost your overall feelings of health and vitality.
Finding Disease in Your Mouth
Researchers utilize your oral health to analyze several other conditions. HIV/Aids and diabetes both exhibit symptoms that are visible through your oral health. Your dental appointment may be the first indication that you have other health concerns that you should be watching.
Doctors have also used saliva in order to detect other issues. Infants have their saliva tested for cortisol levels which can help doctors understand the stress responses of a newborn. Saliva testing can also help to diagnose osteoporosis in adults. Even certain types of cancers can be detected through your saliva.
Your Mouth to Fight Disease
Saliva is actually one of your body’s first defenses against disease as well, so the better that your saliva can function, the readier it is to defeat sickness before it even starts. Saliva contains specific antibodies that can help attack anything from colds to HIV. Your saliva also helps to keep certain fungal infections that cause oral thrush in check.
Your Mouth Can Cause Disease
Unfortunately, the opposite of your oral health is also true. While a healthy mouth can help to fight off certain infections, diseases, and sicknesses, it can also harbor harmful bacteria that can make you sick or even attack your vital organs.
Brushing and flossing regularly helps to eliminate harmful bacteria from building up or hiding in your body, but when you fail to do these things, your mouth can quickly become infected. Periodontal disease is a broad category of a disease that includes gingivitis, periodontal disease, and advanced periodontal disease.
Gingivitis is an infection of the gums that causes them to bleed, be irritated and swell. Over time, your gums will begin to recede and pull away from the teeth. As this occurs, pocketing occurs where bacteria can hide between your gums and your teeth. This allows the bacteria to not only multiply, but also grants access to your bone structure, teeth, and even your bloodstream. Once an infection has entered the bloodstream, it can quickly travel to your vital organs, like your heart and liver.
Plaque and Other Disease
We brush and floss our teeth daily to remove the plaque buildup from our teeth. Unfortunately, this plaque can often be found in other parts of our body, and it isn’t doing anything good. Instead, plaque has been linked to several negative conditions including:
Plaque has been linked to a patient’s inability to effectively control diabetes. Any infection can also cause insulin resistance. In this case, it disrupts the body’s ability to control blood sugar.
In cardiovascular disease, oral infections can increase the potential of blood clots of clogged arteries. These are both critical and potentially life-threatening issues if they aren’t treated.
If you have questions about your oral health, schedule an appointment with Eagle Gate Dental today. If you can achieve a clean bill of health, then it can help you sleep easier knowing that you’re doing everything you can to keep your body in top operating condition.