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Mouth-Body Connection & Risk Factors

HomeGeneral HealthMouth-Body Connection & Risk Factors

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The body’s systems are all interconnected — for example, there are connections between your digestive health and brain function; your respiratory health and immune system. Your oral health sits in the cross-section of many of the body’s systems, and has a greater impact on your overall health than you might think.

Below are some of the many ways your oral health has an impact on your overall health, and why it’s important to maintain it.

Oral Health Impact on Digestion

The first step of the digestive process is eating and chewing, which takes place in the mouth. So it’s unsurprising that your oral health plays a major role in your digestive health! When you have a proliferation of plaque and bacteria in your mouth, you swallow some of it every time you eat food. This bacteria can enter various parts of the body and increase your chances of infection.

Oral Health Impact on Your Immune System

Your immunity is what protects you from getting sick. Smoking or conditions like HIV/AIDS can impact your body’s ability to fight the effects of bacteria, like bacteria found in plaque, which can increase your risk of gum disease and tooth decay.

Oral Health Impact on Hormonal Balances

Saliva plays a monumental role in the digestive process, and carries a lot of information about your overall health. For example, your doctor can measure your cortisol (stress hormone) levels through your saliva alone. But if you have dry mouth, which reduces the amount of saliva your body can produce and therefore make it easier for bacteria to grow, and you may not have the ability to find out about important health information through your saliva. Moreover, saliva helps wash bacteria away from the surface of your teeth, preventing tooth decay.

Oral Health Impact on Heart Health

Numerous studies have revealed that the bacteria found in plaque produces toxins that can build on your artery walls and lead to heart disease.

Oral Health Impact on Reproduction

Studies have revealed that if the bacteria found in plaque enters the bloodstream, it can lead to premature birth and babies with low birth weights.

Maintaining Oral & Overall Health

Preventative dentistry is the best way to make sure that you’re maintaining your oral health and overall health together. Brushing and flossing your teeth diligently twice a day helps you keep bacteria that can cause decay and other issues within your body at bay. Additionally, having a healthy, balanced diet that is low in sugar and carbohydrates can work wonders on your health along with avoiding smoking.

Comprehensive Dental Services in Edgewater, Maryland

Edgewater Dental Arts is committed to providing our patients with comprehensive services to help prevent, treat, and maintain your smile at an affordable price.
To schedule an appointment with us, give us a call at 410-956-3525 or schedule an appointment with us online.

Written by

John Cutting, DMD is an Annapolis dentist experienced in all aspects of dentistry. He provides complete care from general dentistry to cosmetic and restorative dentistry in his conveniently located and comfortable office, Edgewater Dental Arts.