A bright and shiny smile is an indicator of good health, as we all know. However, the condition of your teeth and gums plays a bigger role in your overall health than many people think. Oral health is a critical component of overall health, as your body is one system and every part affects the whole. Understanding how oral hygiene and dental health interact with your body is important in improving and maintaining your overall health, so let’s take a closer look.
Oral Health and Overall Health
One of the most important connections between oral health and overall health is the link between gum disease and cardiovascular disease. These may seem like two entirely separate things, but they are more closely linked than most people realize. As it turns out, the bacteria in your mouth that can cause gum diseases like gingivitis can also affect your heart. If gum disease progresses to the point of bleeding or abscess formation, the bacteria involved can enter your bloodstream and spread to your heart. When they enter the heart, the bacteria can attach themselves to the tissues there and cause inflammation. This in turn leads to cardiac diseases including endocarditis and arteriosclerosis. These are serious illnesses that can lead to a variety of negative outcomes for the patient, including stroke, heart attack, and death.
This is an extreme example, but an important one as well. Your oral health is vital to your overall well-being, and taking care of your teeth is part of keeping your whole body healthy. But what’s the best way to do it?
Taking Care of Your Oral Health
Caring for your oral health alongside your overall health often involves similar sets of habits and lifestyle choices. In further good news, maintaining your health is often easy and simple once you build good habits, so there’s no reason not to start implementing some of these ideas today. Here are a few things that keep both your teeth and the rest of your body healthy:
- Good brushing and flossing habits are the cornerstones of oral health and hygiene. It’s a simple thing you can do every day, but it does more than anything else to keep your teeth and gums happy. By brushing and flossing after each meal, using mouthwash regularly, and paying attention to your teeth and gums, you’ll help ensure that your smile lasts a lifetime.
- Regular visits to the dentist for exams and cleanings are a must. Teeth cleanings remove bacteria, plaque, and tartar, which helps keep your teeth and gums healthy. Your dentist will also perform an exam, checking up on your oral health and detecting problems before they become serious.
- A good diet does wonders for your health, both oral and general. By eating meals rich in vegetables and lean protein and limiting starches and sugars, you’ll ensure that your whole body remains healthy, including your teeth.
- Staying in shape helps with every aspect of your health, including your oral health. Regular exercise and maintaining a healthy body weight are big steps in keeping yourself healthy for a lifetime
Your oral health is important, and it’s part of your overall health. Maintaining them both is a function of the right lifestyle choices and building good habits. You can start today, by brushing and flossing regularly, eating a healthy diet, and getting good exercise. It’s easy to do, so don’t delay.