“The mouth is the window to your body.” is probably something that most of us haven’t heard before. (And it doesn’t quite have the same ring to it as “The eyes are the window to your soul”!)
But for oral health professionals, this is one of the most important reasons why we must take care of our oral health.
You may be wondering what the connection of the mouth to our body is. Believe it or not, your oral health correlates with your body’s overall health and wellness. This link is what we call the “mouth-body connection”.
If you want to know how our mouth’s health is connected to our bodies, Dental Care Group is here to explain what this connection is and why you should know about it.
What is “mouth-body connection”?
In the past few decades, professionals in the medical field have established the connection of our oral health to our physical and mental well-being. With this, they were able to figure out how proper dental hygiene (and routine check-ups) can maintain the body’s health.
One of the main players in the “mouth-body connection” is our gums. Think of your gums as the portal to the rest of your body.
When you don’t take care of your gums, bacteria will start attacking them, making you more susceptible to infections and inflammation.
When gum disease or periodontitis develops, bacteria and germs can pass through the mouth’s systemic tissues, enter your bloodstream, and trigger illnesses and diseases in your body.
The mouth-body connection: how is the mouth and oral health connected to heart disease?
A study published in the Journal of Periodontology, concluded that 91% of patients with cardiovascular diseases suffered from moderate to severe cases of periodontitis.
In the same study, they discovered that the periodontitis increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. As gum disease causes inflammation in the blood vessels, it prevents the flow of blood in the body. This then causes high blood pressure. When the blood pressure increases, so too does the risk of a stroke.
The correlation of the mouth to heart disease should not be taken lightly given that Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs) are the number 1 cause of death globally.
What’s the link between the mouth and diabetes?
We all know that diabetes is a serious and incurable disease. Those suffering from diabetes are far more susceptible to infections, including periodontal infections.
When there is periodontal infection, the inflammation that manifests as a result can affect the way the body manages blood sugar.
There is an increase in the sugar levels, affecting the amount of time the body has to function with high blood sugar.
Those suffering from diabetes should stay away from smoking. People aged 45+ who have the disease are 20 times more likely to develop periodontal disease than those who do not smoke.
What is the connection between the mouth and pregnancy?
During pregnancy, hormonal changes occur in the body. These changes in pregnant women increase the risk of developing health problems including like gingivitis and periodontitis.
Infection and inflammation can affect how a fetus develops. This is why women should pay their dentists a visit for an oral gum exam before or during pregnancy!
In a study published in The Journal of the American Dental Association, researchers found that pregnant women with chronic gum disease were four to seven times more likely to deliver prematurely compared to those with healthy gums.
How can I maintain good oral and overall health?
To make sure we maintain the good connection of our mouth and body, we have to take care of our oral health. In addition to brushing well and flossing your teeth, make sure you eat more superfoods like milk, cheese, and nuts.
Also, don’t forget to visit your dentist regularly! Dental Care Group is Armadale’s trusted family and emergency dentist, for all your dental treatments, including routine check-ups, book your appointment today!