What’s the Connection between Oral Health and Overall Health?

dental cleaning

Most people know that keeping your mouth clean is the best way to have an attractive and healthy smile. However not so many will be aware of the benefits to general health. Having healthy teeth and gums helps protect your overall health.

What Is Oral Health?
Oral health is concerned with the condition of any of the structures in your mouth, including your teeth, gums, tongue and all your oral tissues.

How Is Oral Health Related to Overall Health?
When your teeth and gums are healthy then it’s much easier to eat a varied and nutritionally sound diet. Choosing foods that are good for your teeth, for example those that are low in sugar, will also benefit your general health. Having a nice smile helps boost self-esteem, and good oral health decreases the risk of bad breath. It’s also much easier to speak clearly when you have all your teeth.

Which Oral and General Health Conditions Are Linked?
Oral health has been connected to a number of different general health issues. Clinical studies have found links between gum disease and diabetes. For example, uncontrolled diabetes can increase the amount of glucose in the saliva, increasing the risk of gum disease. Conversely gum disease causes bleeding gums that allow bacteria in the mouth to enter into the bloodstream where it’s thought they can create new sites of inflammation, making it more difficult to control blood sugar levels. In addition diabetics find it more difficult to heal. Gum disease has also been linked to heart disease, and people with unhealthy gums could be at increased risk of developing heart issues.

How Can I Achieve Good Oral Health?
It’s important to visit your family dentist in Federal Way as often as recommended. Book professional tooth cleanings at the same time as this will reduce bacteria in the mouth, helping to keep your gums healthy and strong. People with diabetes or other medical conditions that compromise their immune system may need to visit their Federal Way general dentist more frequently.