How Oral Health Impacts Overall Health

Oral health is important for maintaining general health and well-being at every stage of life. The mouth serves as a window for the rest of the body, providing signals of general health and any disorders.It is clear that the body and the mouth are not separate from each other. The body affectsthe mouth and vice-versa. The mouth serves as the gateway for the body, what we eat, drink or even what we speak affects our body and the soul. Hence, it is for prime importance to keep mouth, teeth and gums healthy and free from any infections or disease.

The Link between the mouth and the body: It is important to understand the connection between the bad mouth and the harms it can bring to the body.In-order to understand the underlying concept, first we should understand that the bacteria that builds up in the teeth make the gums prone to several mouth diseases and infections. Followed by weakening of the immune system to take action by attacking the gums bacteria, resulting in inflamed gums, it continues till the point the infection is bright under control. With the passage of time the chemical released, decay the gums and the bone structure around it, resulting in severe gum diseases, and these bacteria which lies in the cavities are carried to the different part of body through the food and liquid we intake, affecting the core of the immune of system and causing numerous disease.

Following are frequently researched and studied disease in connections with gums diseases and bad mouth. Although, there are several other diseases which have their roots in the mouth, but we will restrict our discussion to the common ones.

  • Respiratory/Lung infections: This has been proved through various studies and researches that respiratory disease like pneumonia, severe coughing, lungs swelling can be caused by the bacteria and the infections in the mouth which reaches to the lungs through wind pipe.And, over a longer period of time these diseases become more chronic and takes severe toll on the body.
  • Heart disease: The bacteria from inflammation of the gums and periodontal disease can enter the bloodstream and travel to arteries in the heart and cause atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Because of atherosclerosis plaque develops on the inner walls of arteries which thicken the arteries and reduces the flow of blood. This can cause an increased risk of heart attack or stroke. Sometimes, the inner lining of the heart also become infected and inflamed leading to endocarditis.
  • Alzheimer or Dementia: The bacteria from gingivitis enters the brain through either nerve channels or through the bloodstream, which leads to the to the development of Alzheimer's disease and problems of dementia.
  • Diabetics: Although, there is no direct relation between the cause of diabetes and gum infections but often it become impossible for the diabetic patient to control the blood sugar leveland further deteriorate the diabetescondition. Diabetes sufferers are also more susceptible to periodontal disease, making dental care even more important for those with this disease.
  • Bone loss/ Osteoporosis: The have been debatable discussions between relations of gum infections and bone loss disease, called osteoporosis, the commonalities between the both is that they both affects the bones, the gum diseases affects the jaw bones and the osteoporosis affects the long bones of arms and legs. It is established that women with osteoporosis have gum disease often and the vice-versa is also true.
  • Obesity/ Weight Gain: It has been also extensively researched that there is aconnection between body weight gain and the gums disease. The saliva and the bacteria in the gums affects the appetite and malfunctions the digestive system of the body, by affecting the production of vile liquid and other related hormones.

As there are several diseases associated with improper care of mouth and gums, one has to be very vigilant in keeping a regular check for the health of the gums and its not a rocket science or requires any expert for that. Following precautions should be taken, in order to have a healthy mouth and thus a healthy body.

  • If gums are red, swollen, painful, or bleed easily
  • If the gums have pulled away from teeth and there is sensitivity
  • If there are sore spots in the mouth
  • If there are white patches in the mouth.
  • If there is bad breath or a bad taste in mouth and remains for longer period

If any of the symptoms prevails for more than couple of days, one should immediately rush to the doctor and seek a proper guidance.

Remember, taking good care of teeth and gums can really help one live healthy and for longer period of time. But, for that one has to maintain good and healthy oral habits, which means brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and going for regular dental cleaning and check-ups.

A good and glittering smile is a testimony of healthy body and hence a peaceful mind!