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Benefits Of A Healthy Smile

Your oral health and overall health are more connected than you know! Our mouths are full of (mostly harmless) bacteria that can be kept under control with good oral hygiene. However, the mouth is the entry point to your digestive and respiratory tract and when bacteria reach levels that can cause infection, it can affect the rest of the body. 

Poor oral hygiene can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. The bacteria caused by these diseases may then play a role in some diseases such as endocarditis, cardiovascular disease, pregnancy and birth complications, and pneumonia.

                Oral bacteria and the inflammation caused by periodontitis may be associated with certain diseases. Also, some diseases can increase your chances of producing these harmful bacteria as your body’s immune system is compromised, making it hard to fight off infections that would normally be managed by your body’s natural defenses.

  • Endocarditis, which is infection of the inner lining of your endocardium, may occur when bacteria from your mouth goes through your bloodstream and attaches to these areas of your heart.

  • Cardiovascular disease has been shown to have a connection to inflammation and infections from oral bacteria. While this link is not fully understood, studies show a correlation between oral health and clogged arteries and stroke.

  • Premature birth and low birth weight have been known to be linked to periodontitis.

  • Pneumonia and other respiratory diseases can be caused by bacteria being pulled from the mouth and into your lungs.

  • Diabetics tend to more frequently have severe gum disease as blood sugar levels and gum disease have a direct correlation. In turn, gum disease can make it more difficult to control blood sugar levels which can cause further complications for diabetics.

  • HIV/AIDS can cause painful lesions in the oral cavity called mucosal lesions which are signs of a deficient immune system.

  • Osteoporosis weakens the periodontal bone and leads to tooth loss. Also, some drugs which are used to treat osteoporosis may carry a small risk of damage to the bones in your jaw.

  • Other conditions or medications such as antihistamines, painkillers, diuretics, and antidepressants may cause dry mouth and reduce saliva flow. Saliva helps to protect you from microbes by rinsing away food and helps to neutralize acid that is produced by bacteria. When the saliva flow is reduced, you are more susceptible to infection from bacteria growth.

By practicing proper oral hygiene daily, you can help to avoid a number of complications with your overall health and lead a more healthy lifestyle.


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