With the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak, your health is now more important than ever. Research shows that individuals with pre-existing medical conditions have a much higher risk of complications when infected with this novel coronavirus. Dental hygiene may not seem like an immediate concern right now but in reality, it may be more important than ever, however, as research shows that many oral health issues can lead to major systemic health issues.
The reverse also appears true in that many serious health issues sometimes first reveal themselves by a change in your oral health. If you find that your oral health is suffering, regardless of your regular practice of good oral hygiene, you may be dealing with a health issue of which you are unaware. To help maintain your good health, you must understand this connection between your oral health and your general health.
Oral Bacteria Linked To Major Health Problems
Our bodies are the home of millions of living bacteria. It lives on our skin and in our nose and mouth although most of it is harmless to us. Faithfully adhering to an oral hygiene regimen that includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing every day can help will usually keep this bacteria from getting out of control. However, if oral hygiene is not performed properly or regularly enough, these bacteria in our mouths can cause minor oral health problems such as gum disease (also known as periodontitis) or tooth decay to become major systemic conditions like heart disease.
Cardiac Problems Linked to Oral Health
Research has linked endocarditis to poor oral health. Endocarditis is when the lining of your heart is weakened by an infection that has spread from another part of your body, such as an infected tooth. This condition weakens the heart muscles and increases your risk of heart disease, heart attacks and strokes.
Oral Health and Overall Health
Doctors have observed that 90% of systemic medical conditions show themselves in our mouths through symptoms they cause there. For example, patients with uncontrolled diabetes are more likely to have gum disease. Therefore, if someone has gum disease despite maintaining good oral hygiene and attending regular dental appointments, this may indicate that he or she should go for check-up with their medical doctor or endocrinologist (diabetic specialist).
Also, lesions that appear in the mouth could indicate the presence of autoimmune diseases such as HIV/AIDS. While lost teeth may be a sign of the onset of osteoporosis, a bone-weakening disease. Similarly, people that have developed Alzheimer’s Disease often display a decline in oral health as well..
Prevent Illness with Good Oral Hygiene
What can you do to prevent your oral health from placing your overall health at risk? Dr. Engelberg and the American Dental Association recommend brushing your teeth at least twice daily or after meals and flossing daily to remove the dental plaque that forms on our teeth, making them vulnerable to tooth decay. Staying hydrated is also very important as saliva washes away excess food that can form plaque and neutralizes some of the acids from food that eat away at our tooth enamel. Both dentists and doctors suggest eating a healthy diet with very little added sugar to control tooth decay and for good general health.
The most important step you can take to maintain a healthy smile is scheduling regular appointments with Dr. Engelberg or your area dentist to treat any issues as soon as they arise. Now, more than ever, it is important to take your health seriously. For people in Arlington Heights, IL schedule a cleaning and consultation online today with Dr. Engelberg or call AH Smiles at (847) 230-9703.