Taking care of your dental and oral health is extremely important, but did you know that your oral hygiene can have a huge impact on your body’s overall health?
There are many different diseases and infections that can get into your body through your mouth. Not only do you want to prevent tooth decay, bad breath, and gum disease, but you need to keep your mouth clean so you don’t develop certain medical disorders.
Many diseases in your body have symptoms that manifest in your mouth, but you don’t need to worry because there are ways to prevent them and have great oral health.
What Are the Conditions Poor Oral Hygiene Can Cause?
Bacteria and germs can enter your blood stream through inflammation and irritation in your gums. These bacteria can travel to your heart and build up in or harden your arteries, causing blockages that can lead to heart attack or strokes. Bacteria from your gums can also get to your liver and cause damage there as well.
If you don’t brush your teeth and floss enough, you could develop a fungal disease called oral thrush. This occurs when the normal amount of yeast in your mouth grows too much and coats your lips and tongue in a white, powdery substance. Even though it sounds terrible, this can easily be cured by your dentist.
Gingivitis is also caused when you do not brush or floss enough. This disease is the result of excess plaque building up along your gumline. Bacteria are drawn to this area and can cause an infection between your teeth and gums. If not taken care of quickly, this can develop into more serious forms of gum disease and infection, such as periodontitis and trench mouth.
What Are the Symptoms of Poor Overall Health?
- Tooth decay – This symptom can be an indication of diabetes, which affects the way your body produces and processes glucose (also known as sugar).
- Mouth sores/ulcers – These lesions could mean many different things for you overall health. Mouth sores could mean you are eating something that irritates your mouth or that you bit your cheek or tongue. There are some serious conditions that can result in mouth sores however. HPV and certain autoimmune disorders can all manifest in serious, long-lasting mouth sores.
- Bleeding gums – This can be in indicator that you have gum disease that can lead to serious infections throughout your body. Gum disease also is the main cause of tooth loss.
- Worn down or eroded teeth – Grinding your teeth at night can lead to worn down teeth and may indicate sleep apnea, which means you grind and clench your teeth to try and breath better while sleeping. Eroded caused by frequent vomiting can be an early indicator that you are pregnant if you have bad morning sickness. The acid in your vomit can break down the exterior your teeth.
How Can You Protect Your Oral Health?
To keep your mouth, teeth, and gums happy and healthy, be sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day. Flossing daily is also essential to getting plaque and bacteria from between your teeth. Using mouthwashes can also help your oral health. Rinsing with these every day can clean out hard-to-reach bacteria.
A healthy and responsible diet is also key to a healthy mouth. You should eat right, limit your sugar intake and drink less sugary drinks to reduce the amount of tooth erosion that can occur from bacteria.
Be sure to visit your dentist regularly and schedule consistent check-ups so they can make sure that you are taking great care of your teeth and can spot any problems before they get too severe.
Most of these problems are extreme and only occur if left unchecked for a long period of time. If you feel like you may have any of these symptoms or conditions, be sure to talk to your orthodontist or dentist as soon as possible.
If you want to learn more about how your oral health impacts your overall health, or how it affects your orthodontic treatment, contact us today at (843) 4-BRACES.