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The Connection Between Oral Health and General Health

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Brushing and flossing do more than keep your teeth clean; they also contribute to your overall health. The mouth is the gateway to the body and is home to many forms of bacteria. While not all types of bacteria are harmful, when too much of it builds up in the mouth, it can make its way to other parts of the body and cause problems. Some of the health conditions linked to poor oral health include:

Heart Disease
Gum disease causes inflammation of the soft tissue that surrounds the teeth. This inflammation has been linked to an increased risk of stroke, high blood pressure, clogged arteries, and other types of heart disease. In addition, endocarditis (an infection in the heart’s inner lining) can develop when bacteria from the mouth make their way into the bloodstream.

When bacteria in the mouth are not cleaned properly, they can travel into the lungs. These germs can cause pneumonia and other respiratory diseases. This is especially important for people over the age of 65 who are more likely to develop complications from pneumonia.

Alzheimer’s Disease
A recent analysis revealed that the same bacteria that causes gum disease is also associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. Older adults with gum inflammation were more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than those without gum disease during the study.

Birth Complications
If you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant, ensure you take extra care to keep your teeth clean. Pregnancy makes women more prone to developing gingivitis, which is an early form of gum disease. Nearly 60 to 70 percent of pregnant women develop gingivitis due to hormone changes. Should gingivitis worsen to severe gum disease, it can lead to low birth weight, pre-term birth, and other birth complications.

Maintaining good oral health is essential for keeping the rest of your body healthy. In addition to brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day, you should schedule regular check-ups with your dentist. By conducting a complete oral exam, your dentist can assess your oral health and recommend addressing problems if needed.

We care about your oral and overall health! Contact Vacendak Dentistry today to make your next appointment.