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You Are What You Eat With: How Poor Oral Health Causes Other Health Issues

July 21, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — crovatto @ 7:17 pm
Woman holds cheek in pain.

Everything goes through the mouth. From the air we breathe to the food we eat to the water we drink, our oral cavities are the usual intake point for all the sustenance our bodies need. It’s no surprise then that the state of the mouth can have massive effects on the health of the rest of the body. What harm can poor oral health do to the rest of the body, and what can you do about it?

How Can Poor Oral Health Lead to Infections Elsewhere?

Being a dark, warm, wet place, the mouth is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria if it isn’t cleaned regularly. If bacteria are multiplying uncontrollably on your teeth and gums, that means that you’re going to swallow a lot of that with every bite of food or breath of air. These bacteria would be happy to set up shop elsewhere in your digestive tract or respiratory system.

As gingivitis progresses into more serious gum disease, it will work its way into the deeper tissues of the jaw. Once there, many doctors believe that bacteria can hitch a ride through the bloodstream, causing the arteries to harden as they build up plaque. If this is true, this hardening of the arteries, or atherosclerosis, causes hypertension and can trigger a heart attack or a stroke. It might even lead to endocarditis, an infection of the lining of the heart.

Secondary infections from gum disease can wreak havoc in many other ways. Infections can raise blood sugar and thereby increase the risk of developing diabetes or make managing diabetes more difficult. Gum disease is also associated with infertility and pregnancy complications.

How Can I Keep My Mouth Healthy?

Preventative measures can lower your risk for all these complications. Brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups are the best way to keep the nasty stuff out of your mouth and body. Sugars found in things like candy and soda are bacteria’s favorite food. Eat balanced and nutritious meals with fruits and vegetables. Drinking plenty of water does wonders for cleaning your mouth by flushing out bacteria and food particles.

The mouth has its own natural and effective cleaning devices, but it needs some effort on your part to not become a party for pathogens. Good oral hygiene will not only keep your smile beautiful, but also the rest of your body in good health for decades to come.

About the Practice

Crovatto & Edwards Family Dentistry tends to the oral health in the area of Orange Park, FL. Drs. Steven Crovatto and Megan Edwards lead the team in their fight against cavities and gingivitis. For more information on preventative dentistry, contact them online or dial (904) 272-0800.

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