Everyone knows that a healthy bright smile can affect how you look and how you feel about yourself, but did you know that your oral health can affect your health in general? The mouth contains numerous bacteria, as does the rest of the body. If you routinely practice good health care, you most likely won’t have major problems with tooth and gum diseases, but you could still be susceptible to infections. Additionally, some medications could make your mouth more susceptible to infection or tooth decay, particularly those which reduce the amount of saliva in your mouth, causing a feeling of “cotton mouth.” Saliva washes away bacteria and germs in the mouth, so if you’re not producing the normal amount, your mouth could become more prone to the growth and proliferation of bacteria.
Several studies have shown that oral health problems can contribute to several diseases linked to gum and tooth infections, including:
•Encocarditis, which is an infection of the lining of your heart.
•Periodontal disease, which is linked to premature birth and low birth weight.
•Alzheimer’s disease, which is suspected to be related to tooth loss before the age of 35.
To avoid problems to your overall health, it is important to have a healthy mouth. Be sure to brush your teeth at least twice per day and floss daily. Avoid eating sugary foods. Most importantly, be sure to have regular dental check-ups to prevent gum and tooth disease, or keep them in check before they get worse.