Good oral hygiene helps you keep your mouth healthy, preventing dental decay and gum disease. Here, our Etobicoke dentists explain how a healthy mouth can contribute to better overall health and well-being as well.
Maintaining good oral hygiene is a key factor in promoting better dental health. By adopting proper oral hygiene habits, you increase the likelihood of retaining your teeth as you grow older. Since dental health can influence overall well-being, practicing good oral hygiene can have a positive effect on your overall health.
A Healthy Salivary Flow
Saliva is a helpful diagnostic tool, in that it can help doctors and dentists to identify and diagnose systemic diseases before their symptoms become apparent.
Saliva plays a crucial role in defending your body against disease-causing organisms by neutralizing bacteria and viruses before they can harm you. It contains antibodies that target viral pathogens like the common cold and HIV, as well as enzymes that combat bacteria by breaking down their membranes, disrupting essential enzyme systems, and impeding their growth and metabolism.
Maintaining a healthy salivary flow is simple for most individuals. The key is to stay well-hydrated! Drinking an ample amount of water throughout the day helps ensure a healthy saliva production.
Dental Plaque & Infection
Your mouth houses over 500 species of bacteria that are constantly forming dental plaque, a sticky, colourless film that clings to your teeth and causes a variety of health problems.
If you neglect regular and thorough brushing and flossing, dental plaque can accumulate between your gums and teeth, leading to a gum infection known as gingivitis. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to a more severe infection called periodontitis or gum disease.
In the case of periodontitis, undergoing dental treatments or simply brushing your teeth can create an entry point for the abundant bacteria in your mouth to enter your bloodstream.
If your immune system is strong and healthy, the presence of oral bacteria in your bloodstream typically doesn't cause any issues. However, if your immune system is compromised due to a disease or cancer treatment, the oral bacteria in your bloodstream can potentially cause an infection in another part of your body.
Infective endocarditis, which is when oral bacteria enter the bloodstream and stick to the lining of diseased heart valves, is an example of this.
Dental Plaque’s Link to Common Conditions
Maintaining good oral health can potentially help protect against various diseases and medical conditions, including stroke, heart attack, complications associated with diabetes, and even pre-term labor.
Poorly Controlled Diabetes
Chronic gum disease may make diabetes more difficult to control. The infection may cause insulin resistance, which can disrupt blood sugar control.
Bacteria in the mouth may cause inflammation throughout the body, including the arteries, meaning gingivitis may play a role in clogged arteries and blood clots.
In addition, gum disease and tooth loss may contribute to the development of plaques in the carotid artery.