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Oral health: A mirror to your overall health

Oral health: A mirror to your overall health

Did you know that maintaining good oral health play vital role in the overall health of a person, the oral cavity that includes the teeth and surrounding tissues like the gums and the oral mucosa is mirror of individual’s general health and standard of living. Oral health has been ignored, not understanding the importance of it.

Your oral health is far more important than you may comprehend. In this article, Confident dental care lays out facts on how oral health, teeth and gums can affect your general health.

Did you know that certain findings in your mouth can affect the rest of your body? You can safeguard yourself by being aware of the connection between your oral health and general health.

Oral health and your complete health

Your mouth is full of microorganisms (Harmful and Harmless). However, mouth is the place through which bacteria can enter your digestive and respiratory tracts, and cause diseases.

Fortunately, the immune system of your body and good oral habits, such as daily brushing and flossing, help to keep bacteria under control. The absence of good oral hygiene can lead to oral infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease.

A recent study has shown that bacteria in your mouth which cause gum disease (periodontitis) might have harmful effect to other parts of the body. Diseases such as diabetes and AIDS, lower the body's immunity making oral health problems more severe.

A few years ago, if you visited a physician, he would not have referred you to a gum specialist, if he suspected a heart condition. But today, there are enough scientific studies that show a growing link between dental health and body health.To maintain a healthy heart, regular dental checkup cannot be ignored along with yearly visit to your cardiologist. Generally, people do not spend time maintaining good oral care. They think that oral health is not as important as their heart or kidney.

What conditions can be linked to oral health?

Issues with your mouth might lead to various diseases

  • Endocarditis. The infection of the inner lining of your heart chambers or valves is caused when bacteria or sometimes fungi from another part of your body, such as your mouth, spread through your bloodstream and reach your heart.
  • Cardiovascular disease. Research suggests that heart disease and stroke might be linked to the inflammation and infections from the bacteria in your mouth.
  • Pregnancy. There have been several cases of a close association between periodontitis and premature birth and low birth weight.
  • Pneumonia. The bacteria in your mouth can enter your lungs and cause pneumonia.

Similarly, a few conditions can have a role in your oral health, including:

  • Diabetes. Diabetes reduces the body's resistance to infection, thereby putting your gums at risk. Gum disease is found more commonly among people who have diabetes. Research shows that people with gum disease have a tougher time managing blood sugar levels. Hence, it is observed that regular periodontal care can help control diabetes better.
  • Osteoporosis. Periodontal bone and tooth loss are linked with osteoporosis. It is also seen that a few drugs used to treat osteoporosis lead to the risk of bone loss in your jaw.
  • Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's is observed alongside progressive deterioration in oral health.

It is recommended that you discuss with your dentist your conditions, symptoms, medications and treatments on your regular visits

The brain and periodontitis

A scientific study on the metabolic analysis of mouse brain tissues showed a change in the metabolism of the brain when exposed to periodontal pathogens. The analysis showed a decrease in glucose that the brain needs to function optimally. The researchers also found that toxic enzymes released by P. gingivalis were present in 97% of the brain samples of Alzheimer’s patients. Identifying P. gingivalis (periodontitis pathogen ) and other oral pathogens as primary causative organisms in the diseases, also resulted in a quantum leap in the treatment protocols.

According to Dr Saphal Shetty, Confident Dental Care, "These scientific revelations have led to understanding the disease and their behavior."

How can I protect my oral health to manage my overall health?

Practicing good oral hygiene regularly helps to manage your overall health. Below are a few things you can do daily.

  • Brush your teeth twice a day
  • Floss daily.
  • Use mouthwash
  • Eat a healthy diet. Limit sugary food and drinks.
  • Change your toothbrush regularly
  • Schedule dental check-ups at least twice annually.

It is crucial to consult your dentist as soon as you have a problem. We now know how significant taking care of your oral health is.

The changing landscape of dental care

In spite of the scientific knowledge, there remains a gap between the medical and dental spheres and the delivery of good treatment. Oral health professionals have been historically concentrated in private practice settings. The bulk of dental practices continues to operate independently of most primary health practices and health organizations.

Confident dental care has been a pioneer in leading the evolution of the dental care landscape, gradually shifting the private practice model to more integrated models.

Confident dental care launches a center at SS Sparsh hospital, a multispecialty hospital at rajarajeshwarinagar, Bengaluru hence, integrating oral health and general health; that will help in better, faster, result-oriented and more economical treatment protocols.

"Poor oral health is both common and treatable, so the recent results, Dr Sapna Shetty says, "could lead to a new paradigm for prevention that includes optimal oral care."

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