How Does Oral Health Affect My Overall Health?

Great oral hygiene is a must for healthy teeth and gums. It can also have an impact on your overall health, from reducing your risk of heart disease to helping you manage chronic medical conditions like diabetes. In Huntington Woods, MI, Restoration Dental emphasizes the link between oral and general health when providing patients dental cleaning services. They believe properly informing patients about dental care is the best defense against serious issues, such as gum disease and cavities. They also strive to give you the tools you need to care for your teeth at home, which requires daily brushing and flossing, eating right, and using fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash.

Based on emerging evidence, your oral health not only provides insight into your overall health. It also impacts your body in many other ways, some of which may be surprising. The following are a few examples of how caring for your teeth ensures you remain health from head to toe.

The Link Between Gum Disease & Heart Disease

Gum disease is caused by plaque, which is a sticky film rife with bacteria that coats your teeth. While this plaque differs from that which clogs the arteries in the heart, people with gum disease have a two to three times greater risk of suffering from some form of heart disease, including a heart attack or stroke. In fact, researchers believe the real issue is the inflammation that gum disease causes, which may result in problems within the heart and elsewhere in the body. Long-term inflammation, which is a factor with untreated gum disease, could impact the health of your heart. It’s also thought to cause a number of other health problems, including cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

Oral Health Affects Diabetes Management

The relationship between dental health and diabetes is complicated. Improperly managed diabetes actually increases your chance of tooth decay, gum disease, and dry mouth. Dry mouth is particularly damaging since saliva plays a key role in preventing bacteria and plaque from clinging to teeth. Additionally, untreated gum disease can increase blood sugar levels as the body fights off oral infections. That’s why people with diabetes must make dental care a part of their management plan. You should also talk to your dentist about your illness. That way your dental team can tailor an oral health plan that is best suited to your specific needs.

How Dental Care Impacts Lung Health

Oral bacteria may also contribute to lung problems, such as infections. Excess bacteria in the mouth, which is a result of improper dental care, can actually be aspirated into the lungs. Over time, this bacteria causes lungs to become inflamed and can lead to a higher chance of developing pneumonia and bronchitis. This risk is even greater for people already suffering from lung conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), as oral bacteria reduces the effectiveness of common therapies and treatments. Prolonged gum disease can even result in bacteria making its way into the blood as gum tissues break down over time. Visiting a family dentist twice a year reduces these risks, but caring for your teeth and gums at home is also important.

Poor Oral Health May Also Be Linked to Dementia

Studies have even shown a link between dementia and dental care. One study found that a number of test subjects with dementia also had a certain type of bacteria in the brain that is known to cause gum disease. Research into this area is ongoing, and some doctors posit that degrading dental care in the later stages of dementia is the cause for oral bacteria in the brain. While more research is necessary to truly understand the link, it’s clear that dental care is an integral component of a healthy body and mind.Restoration Dental provides a wide range of services to ensure you and your family’s oral health needs are met. Along with preventative care, they also provide dental restoration services, such as root canals, crowns, implants, and oral surgery. Schedule an appointment today by calling 248-331-8920. You can also learn more about the services offered by visiting the website.

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