Everyone knows that dental hygiene is important for good oral health—but not as many people are aware that good oral health affects the health of your entire body. Although caring for your teeth is an important component of keeping your smile healthy, it can also help prevent a number of other issues.
A healthy mouth can have several hundred billion bacteria in it, and an unhealthy mouth can have many, many more. However, these bacteria don’t always stay confined to the mouth. Poor oral health can lead to problems such as gum infections, cavities, or inflammation, and if left untreated long enough they can cause infection and inflammation in other body parts as well. Some of the most common areas include the jaw and throat, although complications have been known to extend even farther.
One disease that has been closely linked to poor oral health is diabetes. In this case, although the two conditions or correlated, causation is not entirely clear—it could be that diabetes causes problems such as periodontal disease or that both are connected with a different cause (such as a high sugar intake). However, it has been demonstrated that having poor oral hygiene can make it more difficult to control blood sugar, causing significant problems for people who already have diabetes.
Heart disease is also closely tied to oral health. Scientists believe that this is because bad dental hygiene can cause inflammation, which can contribute to heart problems; poor oral health can both increase the risk of heart disease and aggravate existing heart conditions.
Keeping your mouth clean and healthy is important, and not just because you want to protect your pearly whites. Good dental hygiene can help you reduce the risk of and avoid aggravating many other systemic conditions. If you’d like to treat problems like gum disease or missing teeth, Dr. Carreiro is ready to help—call (973) 988-4491 to set up an appointment with a quality dentist in Largo, FL.
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