Visiting your dentist is about so much more than just getting a routine dental cleaning. Many people don’t realize just how much their oral health ties into the health of their overall body. You may even hear some dental professionals say, “The mouth is the gateway to the body.” In this blog post, we tackle some ways in which the connection between your mouth and your body is readily apparent.
When bacteria builds up on your teeth, it can leave your gums more vulnerable to infection, which in turn can bring with it inflammation. This inflammation actually makes it harder for your body to use insulin and regulate blood sugar. That means that people with periodontal disease, or gum disease, can experience complications with diabetes. Diabetes and periodontal disease are even more intertwined because having high blood sugar makes you more susceptible to gum infections.
Diabetes & Dry Mouth
People with diabetes may also notice that they have a decreased amount of saliva flow, which is important to note because saliva helps wash away food particles and control bacteria. Without a healthy amount of saliva, your risk of tooth decay goes up.
By now, everyone knows that smoking isn’t a good choice for your health. Besides what it can do to your lungs, smoking makes it harder for your gums to fight off infection, increasing your risk of gum disease. It can also reduce the effectiveness of certain gum disease treatments, result in a slower healing time after oral surgery, and cause tooth loss.
More studies need to be done, but there is evidence of a link between gum disease and heart disease. When you have infection or inflammation in your gums, there’s a concern of that bacteria traveling to your heart through your bloodstream, which can raise your blood pressure and possibly even cause a heart attack or stroke.
A Healthy Mouth Contributes to a Healthy Body
When you ensure that you have good dental health, you’re helping to ensure you have a good overall bill of health. Make sure to brush and floss daily, eat a nutritious diet, avoid smoking, and see Dr. Rorick every six months. If you have any other questions about the mouth and body connection, contact our expert team at Sycamore Hills Dentistry!