how oral health affects general health

Oral health and general health are linked, just as unhealthy gums and obesity are linked.

Good dental hygiene that includes brushing and flossing helps keep your mouth healthy. A normal, healthy mouth keeps bacteria in check so it doesn’t travel to other parts of the body and create disease. However, when the immune system is compromised and the mouth isn’t healthy, oral bacteria can infect other body areas.

Some Medications Deteriorate Oral Health

According to the Mayo Clinic, some medications like painkillers, decongestants, antihistamines, diuretics and antidepressants reduce saliva production. Saliva plays a vital role in protecting your oral health by neutralizing acids from bacteria and in washing away food.

Associations Between Oral Health and Certain Diseases or Conditions

Gum disease is linked to other diseases or conditions, such as:

  • Cardiovascular disease. Clogged arteries, strokes and heart disease have some connection with infections and inflammation caused by oral bacteria.
  • Endocarditis. Endocarditis is a condition where bacteria infects the heart’s inner lining. Bacteria travel from other body areas through the bloodstream and attach to damaged areas in the heart.
  • Premature birth. Gum disease has been associated with low birth weight and premature birth.

Health Conditions that Affect Oral Health

Just as oral bacteria can affect other bodily areas, your mouth can be affected by other unhealthy body conditions, such as:

  • Diabetes. Diabetes reduces immune system function, which makes the gums more prone to disease.
  • HIV/AIDS. People with HIV/AIDS often get mouth lesions.
  • Osteoporosis. All bones weaken as a result of osteoporosis, and this includes the jawbone, which can result in bone loss in the jaw and tooth loss.
  • Alzheimer’s disease. The more Alzheimer’s progresses, the more oral health conditions worsen.

Keep Your Teeth and Gums Healthy

You can rely on Dr. Baker for excellent dental care. He stays on the cutting edge of dental technology and provides patients with excellent dental care.

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