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Oral Health and Overall Health

Your mouth offers a lot of input about what’s going on with your body. If your oral health is suffering, it could be affecting your health in more ways than one. What’s more, if you’re finding the situation in your mouth isn’t up to snuff, that might be a sign of an underlying problem that needs addressing.

The Connection Between Oral Health and Overall Health
Typically, your body – and your mouth – is home to harmless bacteria, kept in line by your body’s immune system and good dental hygiene. But if the latter is lacking, your body’s bacterial balance can get out of control, and this is what leads to oral infections like tooth decay and gum disease.

Even if your oral health is top notch, taking medications like decongestants, antihistamines, painkillers and diuretics can reduce salvia flow needed to wash away food debris and neutralize acids.

Certain diseases, like diabetes, can lower the body’s resistance to infection, which can make dental problems more severe than they might typically be.

Protect Your Teeth and Prevent Health Problems
The best medicine is an ounce of prevention, especially when it comes to oral care. Good oral hygiene including brushing and flossing regularly, has been linked to improvements in diabetes, heart disease and many other conditions. This isn’t to say that daily mouth maintenance is all you need. If you’re eating bacon cheeseburgers for lunch every day and not exercising, a diligent brushing regiment probably won’t be enough to help you avoid the unfortunate consequences. But combined with a healthy lifestyle, a clean mouth is one more step towards a long life. Daily dental hygiene should consist of the following:

– Brushing your teeth twice each day
– Daily flossing
– Replacing your toothbrush every three to four months
– Dentist appointments every six months

So don’t hesitate to make an appointment next time something in your mouth doesn’t feel right. Address the problem as soon as it appears and you’ll be doing something good for your whole body — not just your smile.