It’s National Dental Health Month! Now is a great time to think about how important our mouth is. Taking good care of our mouth, gums, and teeth is a great goal. When our mouth is healthy, we can eat good and nutritious food that will nourish our bodies. Good oral hygiene can keep dental problems at bay, including tooth decay, bad breath, and gum disease.
A mouth that is unhealthy is prone to infection and pain. Oral health issues have been linked to stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and a host of other serious illnesses.
Yes, the case for good oral health and hygiene keeps getting stronger. Let Dr. Sarah Kong, your Dallas dentist, help you understand how important oral health is – and explore its connection to your overall health and well-being.
The health of your mouth has plenty to do with your overall health. Consider the following:
1. A saliva swab can tell your healthcare provider many things about your body. The mouth serves as a vantage point that helps detect the early signs and symptoms of systemic diseases. Diabetes and AIDs are good examples. These conditions typically manifest as mouth lesions. The Academy of General Dentistry reveals that about 90% of systemic diseases have oral manifestations. (1)
2. Certain cancers can be detected in the saliva. (2)
3. Saliva serves as your body’s defense against bacteria and viruses. It has antibodies that attack pathogens like the common cold. The saliva also contains histatins – proteins that help prevent fungus growth. When illnesses weaken these proteins, the fungus goes out of control, resulting in a fungal infection in your mouth, also known as oral thrush.
4. Failing to brush and floss on a regular basis can cause plaque to form. This creates an environment for bacteria to accumulate in your mouth, which leads to gingivitis. Left untreated, gingivitis can progress to a more concerning gum infection called periodontitis. This makes your mouth an infection source.
5. Studies suggest that there’s a link between oral infections and cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even preterm birth. (3)
The link between oral health and our overall health provides a compelling reason for us to take care of our mouth even more. If you are striving to have good oral health, it’s never too late to get back on track. Considering how important a healthy mouth is to your quality of life, there is no time like the present to get yourself checked by your Dallas dentist. With professional dental care and good oral hygiene at home, a healthy mouth is achievable.
(1) “Improve Your Oral Health.” Academy of General Dentistry, 5 Feb. 2020, http://www.knowyourteeth.com/print/printpreview.asp?content=article&abc=i&iid=184&aid=8674.
(2) Wang, Kaczor-Urbanowicz, Wong. “Salivary Biomarkers in Cancer Detection.” U.S. National Library of Medicine, 10 Dec. 2016, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5534214/.
(3) Li, Kolltveit, Tronstad, Olsen. “Systemic Diseases Caused by Oral Infection.” U.S. National Library of Medicine, 13 Oct. 2000, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC88948/.