Aside from indulging in our favorite foods, conventional wisdom tells us that we are what we eat. Healthy foods equal a healthy body, right? But what happens after we eat? Few people realize the impact to whole body health that proper (or improper) dental care can have. Failing to clean food from the mouth can lead to serious issues that you may not be aware of. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the ways that general dentistry and whole body health are connected.
The Importance of a Clean Mouth
Maintaining a clean mouth is as essential to whole body health as nourishing food and exercise. Brushing and flossing after meals is more vital to overall health than most realize, as food left in our mouths from minimal dental care can cause cavities, gum disease, and much worse. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), advanced periodontal or gum disease is linked with systemic ailments such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and bacterial pneumonia. In other words, gum disease brought on by poor dental hygiene can lead to even more serious health issues. How is this possible? In a word, BACTERIA.
From Oral Hygiene to Whole Body Health
Depending on the illness or disease, bacteria growth begins in your mouth when bits and pieces of food hang around for long periods of time. Typically, this is due to nominal or no brushing and flossing—or by not keeping regular dental appointments for teeth cleanings and full mouth examinations. If left unchecked, bacteria growth can continue and sometimes spread to other parts of the body. Research has shown, for example, that oral cavity bacteria can aspirate to the lungs, causing respiratory issues that can lead to pneumonia. There are other concerns as well. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, there is a link between periodontal disease and an increased risk for stroke. To avoid these more serious health issues, it’s essential to maintain proper dental hygiene and to see your dentist for regular dental exam and cleaning sessions.
But general dentistry and whole body health is not a one-way street. Some oral issues, for instance, can alert your dentist that other health issues are occuring. Let’s say your dentist notices a canker sore on your lip or inside your cheek that doesn’t quite look right. This might indicate a health problem you’re unaware of, such as stress, hormonal changes, and even toothpaste sensitivity. However, it can also be an indicator of Celiac disease, Chrohn’s disease, or immune system deficiencies. Your dentist can more carefully examine the condition and collaborate with your primary health provider to determine the cause. Your dentist is your partner in helping you remain as healthy as possible.
Get Help From a General Dentist in Charleston, SC
Whether an infection begins in the mouth and impacts other parts of the body or illness in other parts of the body manifest as oral conditions, your dentist can help identify health issues and provide general dentistry services to prevent major problems. Be sure to thoroughly brush, floss, and make regular visits to your dentist’s office to promote your whole body health.
Trident General Dentistry serves the entire Charleston area with offices in Mt. Pleasant, North Charleston, and Summerville.
Make a dentist appointment today to support your overall health!