mouth and body connection

What to know about the Mouth and Body Connection

Dr Devine Oral Health

mouth and body connectionServing Brentwood, Belle Meade and Green Hills Areas of Nashville TN

What does maintaining your oral health mean to you? If you are like most people, you probably would answer that question by saying it means brushing and flossing regularly and keeping up with occasional dental cleanings. While that is mostly true, what if we told you that your overall health is connected to your mouth?

If you knew how much your oral health affects heart health, your brain, immune system, and other vital components of your body, would you change anything about your oral hygiene routine? Presently, more than half of adults have gum disease, a common oral condition that affects the heart, brain, and other vital organs. Today on the blog, Nashville general dentists at Devine Dentistry are sharing what you need to know about the mouth and body connection and how to protect not just your mouth but your overall health as well.

What neglecting your oral health means

It’s no surprise that neglecting your teeth and gums leads to bad breath, broken or missing teeth, cavities, or even gum disease. Gum disease, a serious oral health condition, is a bacterial infection that attacks your gums, teeth, and jawbone. While it cannot be cured, professional dental treatments and good oral hygiene help manage the condition and prevent it from worsening. Here’s what happens when you ignore gum disease.

Heart Attack

You may find it hard to believe that what’s going on inside your mouth could affect your heart, but it does! Studies show that harmful oral bacteria gets into your bloodstream when gum disease is present. It then travels through your body and back to your heart, sticking to your arterial walls. Over time, the sticky substance hardens, increasing the risk of heart attacks.

Stroke

As the hardened plaque dislodges, it could be carried to other vital organs in the body, such as the brain. When one of the brain’s superhighways is clogged, a stroke occurs. While stroke patients may recover fully, the road to get there is often long and challenging. Full recovery is not guaranteed.

Respiratory Problems

Lungs infected with oral bacteria are more likely to succumb to bronchitis, pneumonia, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. If you already have a lung disorder or disease, these risks are more likely.

Diabetes

Gum disease bacteria make it more difficult for the body to stabilize its insulin levels. It could spur Type 2 diabetes or make managing your diabetes worse if you neglect your teeth and gums.

Osteoporosis

Periodontitis, like osteoporosis, is a bone resorption disease. It causes the jawbone to recede or dimmish, affecting the jaw joints, neck, and back.

Alzheimer’s Disease

Untreated gum disease has been linked to reduced brain cells associated with memory loss and cognitive dysfunction.

Prenatal Complications

Studies have linked gum disease in pregnant mothers to low birth weight and premature birth in newborns. Maintaining your oral health should be high on your priority list of prenatal care.

Cancer

Poor oral hygiene and gum disease have been linked to certain types of cancer, including pancreatic, kidney, and mouth and throat cancer.

How to Stay Protected

Not only should you brush twice a day, but do so for the recommended amount of time, which is for two minutes. Be sure that you use fluoridated toothpaste, and floss at least once a day, preferably before bed. Reduce your intake of sugary foods and beverages. Replace your toothbrush once every three months. And stick to your six-month cleaning schedule. If you discover an oral health problem like sensitive teeth, unusual or discolored teeth, or have a toothache, be sure to schedule an appointment right away.

Gum Disease Treatment in Nashville, Green Hills, and Belle Meade

If you require a general dentist in Nashville or are looking to gum disease treatment in Green Hills, contact Devine Dentistry by calling (615) 269-4209.