Most of the people associate the term oral health with prevention of the periodontal infections, keeping their breaths minty and fresh and a maintaining a healthy and vibrant smile. Sure, oral health does exactly that and takes care of your mouth.
However, good oral and dental hygiene is more than just the prevention of bad breath, tooth decay and gum diseases. Proper oral hygiene is among the most effective ways of maintaining an energetic overall health. In fact, your dental hygiene can accurately describe your general health.
So beyond the teeth and gums, why does the oral health matter for a healthy body?
Development Of Diabetes
It’s well known that people with diabetes are susceptible to periodontal infections, especially gum diseases. A surprising new study by the American Diabetes Association suggests that severe gum infections can, in fact, contribute to the development of diabetes.
According to the study, the periodontal infection is associated with bacteria that generate toxins that can affect the starch/carbohydrate metabolism in individual cells. Besides that, gum infection hosts a myriad of bacteria that can increase the insulin resistance level, consequently the blood sugar level.
The two-way link between oral health and diabetes should be a wake-up call, especially because the diabetes cases are on the rise.
Good oral health is synonymous with good general health. For a start, the mouth acts as an entry port to the rest of the body, infection in the mouth can easily spread to the rest of the body. Additionally, most of the periodontal diseases and gum infections share links with a variety of other chronic medical conditions such as respiratory diseases, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases.
Quality of life
The existence of poor oral health can affect an individual’s chewing ability and limit them to the foods they consume. This leads to poor dietary habits and can result in weight loss. Such dietary issues are common and have a significant effect on senior citizens.
Aside from health issues, poor oral health is also associated with general discomfort, disruption of sleep, and the ability to relax. It can also affect an individual’s self-esteem, ability to talk and communicate effectively.
With the accumulation of dental plaque, and bacterial colonization of the teeth, gums, tongue, and dentures, your mouth can serve as a reservoir for the lower respiratory tract and oral inflammatory infections, which can result in fatal conditions such as heart disease risks and aspiration pneumonia.
Prevent Oral Cancer
Aside from the regular dental cleaning procedures, a professional dentist should also provide a dental screening for oral cancer. Early detection of cancer is highly curable.