Oral Health Facts: Making the Connection to your Overall Health

 Image of female dental patient next to male dentist pointing at computer screen. There is growing scientific evidence that shows a connection between our oral health and our overall health and well-being. Oral health can affect the way we eat, speak, and smile. It can also influence the way we feel about ourselves and impact our school, work, and social lives.

Oral health issues are often considered separate from other health conditions, but a growing body of clinical research shows a closer interrelation. This research includes many oral health facts demonstrating that poor oral health may contribute to a host of health conditions, while proper oral health care may benefit overall health and wellness.

Yes, a healthy mouth can mean a healthy body. Newtown Dentistry understands the importance of the connection between your oral and overall health. Let’s look at some oral health facts and how they may affect overall health.

The Oral Health and Overall Health Connection

Much research has been done on the connection between poor oral health and other health conditions and diseases. Poor oral health may contribute to various diseases and conditions, including:

 Image of female dentist showing dental mold to female patient in dentist office. High Blood Pressure:
Delaying dental care in early adulthood has been linked to increased risk of high blood pressure. Studies have also shown that people with gum disease may have a harder time controlling their blood pressure with medication than those with good oral health.

Diabetes:
Diabetics have an increased risk of developing gum disease, and gum disease may make it harder for diabetics to manage blood glucose levels.

Obesity:
Brushing teeth too seldomly, only once a day for instance, has been connected to the development of obesity. A diet high in sugary drinks and food, processed foods, and refined carbohydrates can increase the risk of obesity and tooth decay in children and adults.

Respiratory Health:
Poor oral health and high levels of oral bacteria are two conditions linked to an increased risk of pneumonia and other respiratory infections and diseases.

Dementia:
Research has shown that poor oral health is associated with an increased risk of developing brain impairment and dementia.

Pregnancy Issues:
Pregnant women with gum disease have shown an increased risk of preterm birth and low birth-weight babies.

While poor oral health can contribute to many conditions, on the flip side, many poor health conditions and diseases can cause mouth, teeth, and gum issues. According to the National Institutes of Health, a majority of all common diseases have oral symptoms. Here are some of the conditions, diseases, and lifestyle risk factors that have been associated with poor oral hygiene:

  • Diabetes
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Osteoporosis
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Arthritis
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Emphysema
  • Hepatitis C
  • Liver conditions
  • Obesity
  • Certain autoimmune conditions
  • Eating disorders
  • Medications (decongestants, antihistamines, painkillers, diuretics, and antidepressants)

Common Oral Health Facts

Image of young boy learning how to brush teeth properly on a blue animal puppet.

Normally the body’s natural defenses, along with good dental practices—like daily brushing and flossing—keep harmful bacteria away. However, without proper oral hygiene, bacteria can sometimes reach levels that may lead to mouth infections. The most common problems adults develop due to inadequate oral health include:

Scheduling regular checkups with our dental team can help you prevent these health problems and maintain good oral health. When you visit Newtown Dentistry for your regular dental checkup, an oral cancer screening is always part of the exam. Because early detection is crucial to treatment, our dentists check for signs of cancer or precancerous conditions.

Oral Health Facts and Tips

Consistent preventive dental care can slow down the progression of oral and gum diseases, helping lower the risks associated with many other diseases and health problems. Proper dental care can also help improve our self-esteem and our work, school, and social lives. Here are some daily tips for practicing good oral hygiene:

  • Brush at least twice a day for two minutes with a soft brush and fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss daily.
  • Rinse with mouthwash to remove food particles left after brushing and flossing.
  • Eat a healthy diet high in fruits and vegetables and low in sugary foods and drinks.
  • Replace your toothbrush every three to four months.
  • Schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings.
  • Avoid tobacco use.
  • Reduce alcohol consumption.
  • Use protective mouth equipment when playing sports and other leisure activities.

The expert oral health care team at Newtown Dentistry is committed to:

  • educating you and your family on what good oral health is
  • providing advanced preventive oral health maintenance routines
  • maximizing your oral health to optimize overall health and well-being

In fact, many patients have been motivated to contact their primary care physician after visiting Newtown and have been diagnosed with newly found underlying health issues, such as high blood pressure, that are connected to their oral health. Call us for an appointment so we can help you maintain optimum oral and overall health.

  • AUTHOR

    Ady Murtaza

  • DATE

    January 25, 2023

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