When we think of our oral hygiene, it’s easy to separate it from our general well being however, our teeth and our bodies are actually very closely connected. Our mouth is the most vulnerable place in our body where bacteria can get in. The mouth (and the nose) are also very close to the brain. This makes it even more important that we keep our mouths as clean as possible to avoid infections, illnesses and even long-term or chronic diseases!
Our teeth can make our bodies especially vulnerable because if we have any sort of tooth decay, our natural protection from harmful bacteria is weakened or lost. Bacteria can settle into our teeth and our gums and go straight into our bloodstream making it more difficult for our bodies to fight back.
There have even been studies that show that gum inflammation goes much deeper than just the health of your gums. Gum inflammation (which is also called periodontitis) can be seen in people who have cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, pneumonia and more. If you are diabetic, your immune system is already weakened, so having a healthy and clean mouth is even more important. Even if you’re perfectly healthy, leaving untreated dental problems can put you at higher risk for contracting a cold or some other illness.
Having unhealthy teeth can also affect pregnancy and birth weight. Periodontitis has been associated with premature birth and also low birth weight for the baby. If you have endocarditis (an infection in the lining of your heart), it can also potentially come from the germs floating around in your mouth.
Maintaining a healthy mouth, which means brushing, flossing and gargling daily, is a lot less trouble than dealing with an infection or sickness. If you have any overlooked cavities or untreated dental issues, you should see a dentist immediately to help your teeth get healthy again. Help your teeth stay strong so that your body can be healthy!
Dr. Lorraine Burio of Candlewood Dental Care has been educating patients about the importance of oral health for over twenty five years. If you have any questions or need to make an appointment, call our New Fairfield office at 203-746-1200 or make an appointment here.