All parts of the body are tied to each other. If one body system suffers, it is almost impossible that another system will not also suffer. One of the most interesting connections lies between the oral cavity and the rest of the body. While most people suppose that oral health is only tied to bad breath and cavities, research continues to prove that such issues as tooth decay and periodontal disease can lead to chronic health conditions or can worsen conditions that are already present.
The Connection Between the Body and the Mouth
The connection between the body and the mouth lies mainly in the proliferation of bacteria within the oral cavity. Because the mouth provides vital entry points to other areas of the body, most notably the digestive and respiratory organs, these bacteria can be quite concerning. In addition, in the case of tooth decay, dangerous bacteria can make their way deep into the roots of teeth where they then head into the bloodstream.
Conditions Tied to Poor Oral Health
Today, numerous diseases have been tied to poor oral health. Most notably, overall heart health can be greatly affected by periodontal disease, which affects the gums. Atherosclerosis, heart disease, and stroke may all be linked in some cases to poor oral hygiene. In fact, some research has shown that individuals with periodontal disease may be two times as likely to have a heart attack when compared to those with healthy gums. Poor oral health has also been tied to endocarditis, premature birth weights in infants, and pneumonia.
Ensuring That Oral Health Improves Full Body Health
Caring for your oral health as a senior does not have to be difficult. Instead, following the same simple rules that you have heard for years may be all that you need to do to change the overall health of your oral cavity, enjoy better dentist appointments and get a cleaner bill of health from your doctor. Be sure to brush your teeth at least twice per day and floss once per day. Decrease the amount of sweet and acidic foods that you consume. Finally, see your dentist twice per year.