How Oral Hygiene Affects Your Overall Health

Whenever we visit the dentist's office, usually once in a blue moon, we are merely trying to get the visit over with as quickly as possible without listening to too many lectures about the importance of flossing. But does your dentist actually have good reason to harp on oral hygiene? I mean, other than reducing your plaque buildup?

According to medical experts, physicians are beginning to make connections between general overall health and the health of one's mouth.

A recent study showed that people with serious gum diseasewere 40% more likely to have another chronic medical condition as well.

How does your mouth relate to the rest of your body?

To begin with, most of us understand the reason we brush our teeth in the first place. You eat, and the food builds up bacteria on your teeth, which can make your gums susceptible to infection. If you have an infection, your body's immune system comes into play by attacking the infection, which makes your gums inflamed. Unless you take care of the infection, the pain and discomfort of the inflammation will continue.

Consider this: If inflammation continues, it releases chemicals that will eat away at your gums and the bone structure that holds your teeth in your mouth. The end result is severe gum disease, which can cause problems in other areas of your body.

And that is a look at how your teeth can affect your general health.

Can brushing your teeth potentially stave off diabetes?

The short answer is yes. In looking at the details, that inflammation we referred to above from not properly brushing and flossing has the ability to weaken the body to the point where it can't properly control blood sugar levels. According to the president of the American Academy of Periodontology, Pamela McClain, DDS, "Periodontal disease further complicates diabetes because the inflammation impairs the body's ability to utilize insulin (the hormone that converts sugar into energy)."

So keep your mouth happy and healthy with daily care and regular visits to the dentist's office. Contact us to schedule your next appointment.