In 2000, the US Surgeon General referred to the mouth as a “mirror” of health and disease in the body. That is a strong statement, and one that should never be ignored or dismissed. The condition and health of your mouth has a strong influence on the health of your body. In fact, good dental health can reduce your risk of serious illnesses like heart disease, stroke, diabetes and even premature birth. It’s a two-way street that, if better understood, would likely lead to less skipped dental appointments and better oral hygiene.
How is your dental health linked to your overall health?
It is no surprise that your mouth contains bacteria. While some bacteria is good for you, other forms of bacteria are harmful and can even contribute to disease. Furthermore, the “bad” bacteria may not stay in your mouth. Experts say that the bacteria that causes decay and gum disease may also have the ability to travel to other parts of your body or trigger an immunological reaction within the body that causes chronic diseases and other health issues.
There are two prominent theories surrounding the connection between oral health and body health. The first suggests that when there is an infection in the mouth (gum disease), your body produces specific chemical to fight the disease during an immune response. These chemicals, according to some researchers, can play a role in the development of heart disease and other health complications. The second theory involves the belief that oral bacteria can travel and infect other tissues throughout the body, including your heart, liver, and gut.
While research is still ongoing to prove just how strong the link is between oral disease and system health conditions, there is no denying the fact that good dental health promotes a healthy body.
What can you do?
First and foremost, schedule and attend that routine dental exam. These are vital appointments that can detect gum disease and decay at their earliest stages, before they cause irreversible harm to your smile and before they compromise your overall health. Call Dr. Wayne Suway today to book your dental cleaning!