That cavity can’t affect your heart, right? Is that missing tooth weakening your whole skeleton? What about expectant mothers – can gum disease mean problems with the baby? You might be thinking that these are extreme examples that are over the top, but they aren’t!
Your mouth is the closest thing we have to a direct window into the body and it’s anything but a separate, independent piece! Your mouth can not only reflect your overall health, but it can also have a dramatic effect on it!
How Can Your Mouth Indicate Your Overall Health?
Like we mentioned above, the mouth is the closest thing we get to a window into the body. This means that it often reflects your overall health, both orally and from other places in the body. Take these examples into consideration:
- Dehydration: you’ve had a dry mouth – that’s one of the first signs that you’re dehydrated! A dry mouth can be an early indicator that you need to pay attention to your health, usually by drinking water as soon as possible! Avoid sports drinks due to the high level of sugar – always go for water!
- Autoimmune Disorders: immune system conditions, like AIDS, can cause sores in the mouth. These are often an early way diagnosis is made, especially if the sores are in a hard-to-see place. Sores are also an indicator of viral and bacterial infection, often tied to STDs.
- Cancer: mouth cancer can operate alone or it could be tied to other cancers, often in the head and neck. Mouth cancer is hard to identify, which is why cancer screenings are becoming and standard part of a comprehensive dental exam.
- Other Physical Conditions: from liver failure to signs of joint disorders your mouth can provide your dentist and doctor with a wealth of knowledge about your overall health.
These are only a few of the problems that can be identified by a look at your mouth, so your oral health should always be looked after! Not only will keeping your mouth healthy help your dentist identify any new abnormalities, but it also keeps the rest of your body healthy too. That’s right – it goes both ways!
What Can Your Teeth Do To Your Body?
This is more our line of work: helping you stay mouth-healthy so the rest of your body can stay that way too! Just like your body showing trouble through your mouth, unresolved problems in your mouth cause problems elsewhere in your body!
To understand how your mouth can cause other health issues it’s important to understand what’s causing the trouble in the first place: plaque. Dental plaque is the sticky substance that builds up on your teeth throughout the day – it’s full of bacteria! And do you know what that bacteria loves to eat? Sugar.
When plaque bacteria eats sugar it secretes acids that eat through your tooth enamel, eventually causing cavities. Left unchecked cavities will spread, and so will bacteria, until infection and complications arise!
These are just some of the issues that can be caused by your oral health:
- Endocarditis, an infection of the inside of the heart, occurs when bacteria is able to make its way into your bloodstream and on to the heart. A severely decayed teeth will eventually strike the pulp of your tooth, which is directly connected to your bloodstream. An abscess can become severely infected and cause localized infection in many different parts of the body.
- Heart Disease has been linked to general inflammation of the body, especially inflammation of the gums!
- Gum Disease has been connected to both premature birth and underweight babies.
- Lost Teeth have been connected to overall osteoporosis, suggesting that bone loss in your mouth can affect the whole body.
- Alzheimer’s patients show a much higher rate of tooth loss before the age of 35.
And that’s just a selective list! This is the reason why regular appointments at your dentist are important in keeping your whole body healthy. Don’t become a victim of something that you could have easily taken control of: your oral health!
If you’re ready to take control of your oral health and improve your overall health at the same time, don’t wait: call Marineland Dental Care today at 509-591-0515! You can also schedule an appointment by filling out our online request form. We look forward to promoting great health!