Most people associate poor oral hygiene with dental issues such as cavities, mouth infections, and gum disease. However, poor oral health isn’t only linked to problems with your teeth and gums. Numerous studies have shown that your oral health can have a significant impact on the rest of your body.
What are systemic diseases?
Systemic diseases are illnesses that affect your whole body, as opposed to just one part of your anatomy. A small cavity in your molar is a localized issue, for example, whereas an infection, like gum disease, that enters your bloodstream affects other parts of your body and is systemic.
While any health issue can have far-reaching effects, systemic diseases are particularly concerning. As the entire body is affected by a system illness, a number of complications can arise. In some cases, system diseases can be life-threatening, so it’s important that they are avoided and contained wherever possible.
Why is oral health linked to systemic diseases?
The link between oral health and systemic illnesses has been well-known for quite some time. It’s believed that bacteria in your mouth can make its way to other parts of the body, thus causing a systemic illness to occur.
Although it is natural to have some bacteria in your mouth, an excess amount increases the risk of health problems. As well as causing cavities and dental infections, bacteria in the mouth could cause inflammation and infection in other parts of the body if it migrates from your mouth.
Furthermore, our mouths are regularly exposed to a wide range of bacteria. When you eat, talk and even breath, you’re introducing new bacteria into your system. This enables particularly harmful bacteria to access your delicate system and wreak havoc.
If bacteria aren’t removed swiftly, there is a greater chance of it migrating to other parts of the body. By brushing your teeth, flossing and visiting your dentist regularly, you can remove excess bacteria and minimize the risk of dental and systemic diseases developing.
What illnesses are linked to oral health?
There are a considerable number of system diseases that are already linked to oral health. Endocarditis and cardiovascular disease are two heart-related conditions that are known to be associated with oral health, for example. As both of these conditions can cause life-threatening complications, it’s clear that your oral health plays a major role in your overall well-being.
Furthermore, systemic illnesses can have an impact on your oral health, too. Conditions such as diabetes and osteoporosis can cause bone weakening and reduce the body’s ability to fight infections, for example. If you have been diagnosed with any type of health condition, it’s important to determine how this could affect your oral health and seek guidance from Dr. Kevin F. Postol.
Maintaining healthy teeth and gums can drastically improve your overall health, as well as minimizing the risk of localized dental issues. To find out more about the impact your oral health may be having on your well-being, contact us today.