Oral Health is filled with clues about your general health. From playing huge part indigestion to indicating underlying health conditions, the buccal cavity, commonly known as the Oral cavity, is an important part of human anatomy. In this article, we will discuss the importance of oral health in maintaining good overall health and the connection between the two.
The connection between Overall Health and Oral Health
Mouth or Oral cavity is more than just teeth and tongue. It is also the entry point to your respiratory, digestive tracts, and some disease-causing bacteria as well. Usually, good oral hygiene via brushing and flossing along with the body’s natural defences are enough to keep the bacteria from entering into your body. However, without proper oral hygiene, bacteria present in the mouth can cause oral infections and other chronic oral disorders.
One of the most important bodily fluids is Saliva is responsible for neutralizing acids produced by the bacteria in the mouth which helps in protecting you from microbes that multiply and lead to diseases. Additionally, several medications like painkillers, antidepressants, antihistamines, and decongestants can reduce the flow of saliva.
According to doctors clinic blog, bacteria and inflammation associated with periodontitis can constitute diseases like diabetes and HIV/AIDS which can compromise the immune system. Low levels of immunity can lower the body’s resistance to infections which can compromise the overall health of an individual.
Conditions linked to Oral Health
Poor oral health can lead to contraction of various diseases, including:
- Cardiovascular diseases
Some research suggests that cardiovascular conditions like arteries blockage, stroke, and other heart diseases can be linked to the infections and inflammation caused by oral bacteria.
- Birth complications
Conditions like periodontitis can lead to low birth weight and premature birth.
Endocarditis is the condition in which the heart chamber’s inner lining gets exposed to an infection. This generally occurs when the bacteria from the opening of your mouth enters and spreads through your bloodstream and attach itself to certain areas of your heart chamber.
With the oral cavity being the gateway to your respiratory tract, bacteria can enter your lungs causing respiratory illnesses like pneumonia among others.
Other conditions that can be linked to oral health include:
- Eating disorders like bulimia nervosa, anorexia, etc.
- Immune system disorders like Sjogren syndrome
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Cutting out on the don’ts and adopting healthy habits as simple as brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing can help you avoid damage to your oral cavity and overall health.
How to protect your oral health
Following are the steps you can take to take care of your oral health:
- Brush twice a day
- Using mouthwash after brushing and eating food to get rid of any residue left in the mouth
- Limit your sugar intake and take a healthy diet
- Change toothbrush every three months
- Regular dental check-ups and cleaning
- Say no to Tobacco Use