If you’re looking to get healthier, as millions of people do every day, the internet “experts” will tell you to do 3 basic things: eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep. However, there is something else many of them forget to mention: you need to take care of your teeth as well. More and more research is revealing how your oral health can significantly impact your overall health and how taking care of one can help the other. Today, we’re going to discuss this little known connection and reveal how a trip to your dentist can effect more than just your smile.
If you think about it, the connection between your oral health and overall health makes a lot of sense. Your mouth is the most important portal in your body, and pretty much anything in it can travel to everywhere else inside you. The classic example of this is food and digestion. Food enters your mouth, goes into your stomach, and eventually reaches your blood stream where it covers your entire body.
Unfortunately, this also means that bad things, like harmful bacteria, can also enter and move throughout the body via the mouth. When too much plaque and bacteria is allowed to build up on the gum line, a person can develop an infection called gum disease. The gums are actually very vascular structures with a lot of blood vessels, which means anything on them can easily get into your blood stream. This means that the bacteria has easy access to your entire body, including your heart, lungs, liver, and so on.
Once it’s in your body, it can do quite a bit of damage. More and more research is showing that gum disease is a leading risk factor for a litany of serious health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and even dementia. Basically, just because a problem starts in your mouth doesn’t mean it will stay there.
So now that you have this information, what can you actually do with it?
Fortunately, you can easily take care of your mouth and your body simply by brushing and flossing consistently at home and seeing your dentist at least twice a year. This will control the levels of bacteria in your mouth and prevent them from causing issues for your overall health. This, along with a balanced diet, exercise, and sleep are all you need to stay healthy year after year. With them, you’ll feel great, look great, be full of energy, and you’ll always be ready to smile with confidence.
Dr. Mark Fried is a general, restorative, and cosmetic dentist currently practicing in Framingham, MA. Every day, he strives to provide comprehensive dental care that not only protects his patients’ smiles, but their health as well. He enjoys engaging in patient education so he can empower people to take care of themselves and maintain full, happy, and healthy lives. If you’d like to know more about the subject in this post, please feel free to contact Dr. Fried through his website or call 508-872-9339.