The Oral-Systemic Connection
Taking care of your teeth is more than just keeping up appearances. When you think of being healthy, the welfare of your mouth should be the first thing that comes to mind. Many individuals don’t realize just how much the state of their oral health can impact their overall well-being.
Your Mouth and Body: What’s the Connection?
Implementing strong oral hygiene by properly caring for your teeth and gums is a goal in itself. Besides preventing issues such as bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease, optimal oral health is essential in protecting your overall well-being. The two are very closely linked.
Research has shown that the more advanced form of gum disease, periodontitis, can lead to a variety of health complications throughout the body. Such disorders are usually the result of poor oral hygiene and infrequent dental visits, which would include preventive examinations and professional teeth cleanings.
Because of the direct connection between your oral and overall health, internal problems are often reflected in your smile. Regular dental check-ups are necessary for the early detection of serious illnesses that could jeopardize your overall health.
Periodontal Disease’s Role in Chronic Disorders
The more severe form of gum infection, periodontal disease, involves advanced inflammation. The infection rests below the gum line, producing disease-causing bacteria throughout your smile. Periodontal disease can contribute to the following:
Heart Disease – Although a cause-and-effect connection has not been fully proven, studies have shown that the bacteria associated with periodontal disease does increase the risk of heart disease. Research has recently uncovered that inflammation may be the key culprit for the association.
Diabetes – Because diabetic patients are more susceptible to contracting diseases, their chances of developing periodontal disease are more likely. Periodontal disease increases blood sugar levels, which will complicate your bodily functions.
Low Birth Weight – Expectant mothers with severe gum disease are at increased risk of premature birth or low birth weight compared to pregnant women with healthy gums. Infants with a less than average delivery weight are vulnerable to possible long-term health problems as well.
Prevention: Taking Control of Your Oral and Overall Health
The simple act of flossing and brushing twice daily can help protect your mouth against harmful bacteria and infection. Maintaining a strong oral hygiene routine between appointments can mean the difference between a healthy smile and one that requires extensive repair. With proper prevention you can preserve your long-term oral health and overall wellbeing.
At the Long Beach dental practice of John Cho DDS., we provide the top-quality preventive dental care our patients deserve while promoting oral health and confidence for years to come. To schedule your comprehensive consultation and professional cleaning, call or visit our Long Beach, CA office today!