A Healthy Tooth and Organ Relationship
Toothaches can seem like torture to some people. Have you heard of the old adage saying that it is sometimes better to have a stomach ache or headache because the pain is just concentrating on the parts of the body that hurt? But when you have a toothache, it seems that almost all of your body parts are in pain. Well, it’s not just a cliche, it’s a scientific truth. Research studies show that poor oral hygiene and health can be associated with several major health conditions. Your dental visit can reveal more than just a toothache, signs of unhealthy teeth or gums may be a warning for a more serious condition. Fortunately at LANAP and Implant Center, as experts in oral health, we are here to manage your oral health so that your smile can remain happy and healthy.
The Connection Between Your Teeth and Wellbeing
Your mouth is home to millions of bacteria. Though most are harmless, poor oral hygiene practices can cause harmful bacteria to overgrow and overwhelm your body’s defense system, leading to possible infections.
The mouth is one of the main entry points into your body’s internal systems, such as the digestive system or respiratory system, and without good oral hygiene, bacteria can enter the bloodstream and spread to other parts of your body. Certain medications such as decongestants and antidepressants may reduce saliva production and increase bacterial levels within your mouth, raising your risk of infection and the possibility for more severe oral health problems. Studies show that the added bacteria can cause infection and health complications to the rest of your body if allowed to spread untreated.
Conditions Associated With Poor Oral Health
As dentists, we are well aware of this mouth-and-body connection and are trained to recognize signs of possible underlying health conditions when examining your teeth. In fact, 90% of systemic conditions display oral symptoms. Common conditions associated with poor oral health can include:
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Kidney Disease
Other conditions that your dentist can detect may include thyroid conditions, high blood pressure, sleeping disorders, anemia, and eating disorders.
It is important to note that though these conditions may occur concurrently, that does not mean that one directly caused the other. Studies also show that conditions that lower your body’s resistance to infection are likely to increase your risk for other health complications including oral health conditions.
How To Protect Your Smile
According to the report of the FDI World Dental Federation, oral diseases are among the most common diseases, but are often overlooked. A campaign to increase attention to oral health should be urgent. Here are our tips to protecting your oral health:
- Be sure to keep your dentist up to date about your health and any medications you may be taking, as they may affect your oral health
- Attend regular dental exams and cleanings throughout the year
- Brush your teeth twice a day for at least 2 minutes at a 45-degree angle with an ADA-approved toothbrush and toothpaste
- Floss at least once a day to remove plaque and leftover food from hard-to-reach areas
- Replace your toothbrush every three months or once the bristles begin to wear down
- Use a mouthwash to help keep your teeth feeling clean and your breath fresh
- Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
- Avoid using cigarettes and tobacco products as they can increase your risk for oral cancer and other oral health complications.
Maintaining your health, including your oral health, is a life-long process, and following a good oral hygiene routine is the best way to manage your dental health. It is also important to attend routine exams and cleanings as our staff is trained to identify and treat oral health conditions and look for signs that may cause concern. For more information about your oral health or to schedule an appointment, please contact our office today.