0116 2707 300
1 St Johns Road, Stoneygate, Leicester LE2 2BL
Teeth and overall wellbeing
01 December 2021

How can dental hygiene impact your overall health?

Did you know that your oral health can give clues and indications about your overall health? In fact, if you are having oral health issues these can even impact the rest of the body without you even realising. Recognising the connection between your oral health and overall health and wellness can be key to identifying issues before they become serious and impact your life any further. So how can dental hygiene impact your dental health?

What connection is there between the two?

As with most other areas of your body, your mouth contains a large number of bacteria - which on the whole are mostly harmless. As you know, your mouth is the entry point to your digestive and respiratory tracts and some of the bacteria in our mouths can, unfortunately, cause diseases.

Your body is equipped with its immune system to help keep the majority of these bacteria at bay. However, your body needs to also rely on good oral health care such as twice-daily brushing, flossing, and mouthwash to keep bacteria to a minimum. Failure to provide good oral healthcare can lead to unwanted infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease.

In addition, some common medications such as antihistamines, painkillers and antidepressants (to name just a few) can impact and reduce the amount of salvia that is produced. Saliva is vital for washing away food that builds up in the mouth as well as neutralising any acid that is produced by bacteria. In turn, helping to protect you from those nasty microbes that can quickly multiply and cause gum disease.

Studies actually suggest that oral bacteria and inflammation associated with a form of gum disease (called Periodontitis) can also play a role in other diseases. In fact, diseases such as diabetes can significantly lower the body’s ability to fight infection and therefore can in turn make oral health issues more severe.

What conditions are linked to oral health?

There are a number of different health conditions that can be affected by oral health. Predominantly these are:

  • Heart-related conditions - Health issues such as endocarditis and cardiovascular disease can be related to your oral health. In some instances, such as endocarditis, bacteria from your mouth can be spread through your bloodstream and attach to certain areas of your heart.
  • Pregnancy and birth complications - Studies show that periodontitis has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight.
  • Pneumonia - Did you know that bacteria found in your mouth can be pulled into your lungs and cause pneumonia? You can get pneumonia at any age and it can make the elderly and young very unwell.

What conditions can affect your oral health?

Certain health conditions can also impact your oral health, some of which are:

  • Diabetes - This condition affects your body’s resistance to infection, therefore making your gums vulnerable to infection. Individuals who have diabetes tend to have more issues with gum disease. Studies also show that people who struggle with controlling their blood sugar levels also suffer more from gum disease. Regular dental care and checks can help diabetes control and maintain oral health.
  • Osteoporosis - This disease weakens the bones and is linked to periodontal bone and tooth loss.
  • Alzheimer’s - Previous studies have shown that worsening oral health is seen as Alzheimer’s disease progresses.

How can your dentist help?

It is important to make sure that you inform your dentist about any medications or changes in your overall health. For instance, if you have recently been unwell or have been diagnosed with chronic conditions such as diabetes. Our dedicated team of dental experts is able to tailor your dental treatment to the specific needs and requirements of our patients. By monitoring your oral health our dentists are able to help patients keep in control of their overall health.

Developing healthy dental habits

With the link between oral health and your overall health being so tightly connected, it is important to make sure you keep on top of your dental routine. We recommend:

  • Regular dentist visits
  • Brush your teeth regularly, once in the morning and once last thing at night with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Reduce the amount of sugary food you are consuming
  • Floss once a day
  • Drink more water throughout the day

Why choose SJR Dental?

Here at St Johns Road Dental Practice, we are extremely passionate about promoting good oral hygiene and the overall health of our patients. The wellness of our patients is our top priority.

Whether you would like to improve your oral health, require dental restorative dentistry work, or would like to feel more confident about your smile, we’re here for you.

Our expert team of dentists fully understands that if you have health concerns or issues you may be feeling anxious regarding having any dental work carried out. When you visit SJR Dental, you can have peace of mind knowing that you are in safe and experienced hands. Our dentists will be able to provide you with excellent care whilst reassuring you and encouraging overall wellness for your mind and body.

To find out more information about our dental services or to book an appointment, please get in touch.

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