What many of you might not know, is that the health of your mouth is vital to the health of your overall body. In recent weeks we’ve been exploring some of the things you can do to make your inside feel as good as your outside looks. With the help of the awesome team at SDG Dental in Victoria, we’re going to look at why it’s so important to keep your teeth, gums and mouth in great shape.
Besides preventing tooth decay, bad breath and gum disease, good dental hygiene is important for your whole body. Certain diseases or conditions are often identified due to mouth lesions or other oral issues such as gum disease. Apparently more than 90% of systemic diseases produce symptoms in your mouth! Not only that, saliva collected from your mouth can detect and monitor various conditions such as environmental toxins, imbalanced hormones or antibodies which can indicate such things as diabetes or HIV, osteoporosis, liver cirrhosis or even some types of cancers. So, as you can see, your mouth is more than just a place to chew food!
Did you know that you can have more than 500 types of bacteria living in your mouth at the same time? Whilst saliva (full of bacteria fighting enzymes) helps to combat this bacteria, it can’t fight against all of them without your help. Michael, the principal dentist at SDG says, “The bacteria eventually form dental plaque which can lead to gum infections and other conditions such as Gingivitis.” Now, a real issue is that these infections or conditions may then lead to an infection in another part of your body – when the bacteria from your mouth travels through your bloodstream, and due to a reduced immune system from the disease your body is unable to fight the bacteria. Bad oral health has been linked to:
- Increased risk of heart disease and stroke (due to the plaque bacteria lining your heart valves and the increased inflammation caused by gum disease)
- Diabetes – having diabetes increases your risk of gum disease, but chronic gum disease can make the condition more difficult to manage
- Increased risk of preterm birth or underweight babies (bacteria in the bloodstream feeds through to the placenta and can affect the baby’s’ growth)
- Rheumatoid arthritis – periodontal disease causes inflammation which can lead to the increased risk of a few conditions such as heart disease and arthritis.
A couple of these conditions mention inflammation as being the cause. There is still some debate and not much conclusive evidence as to why there seems to be a link between gum disease and bad oral hygiene to these conditions, but it is said to be either because of the bacteria or the inflammation. Either way, good oral health is obviously a contributing factor to overall good health of your entire body.
So, besides wanting to look after your teeth in order to have a great looking smile which is one of the first things other people notice about you; there are underlying issues to be wary of if you don’t.
If you would like more information on SDG Dental located in Victoria click here or phone them on (03) 9887 0888 to arrange a check up today.