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Oral Hygiene Affects Overall Health Not Just Teeth and Mouth

Cropped shot of a young woman brushing her teeth

Oral Hygiene Is Important for More Than Just Your Teeth

We brush and floss our teeth to prevent cavities but many doctors believe that there is a strong correlation between oral disease and heart function.

The link between oral health and your heart is inflammation. Inflammation results in hardened arteries which makes it hard for blood to flow to your hard which puts you a higher risk for a heart attack or stroke. Inflammation also is the leading indicator for gum disease.

It’s common in all people for their mouth to have harmless bacteria, and saliva can instinctively fights off small amounts of harmful bacteria. However, studies show that the bacteria found in periodontal disease also is present in patients who suffer from strokes. It’s evident that lack of oral hygiene and lack of saliva and genetic disorders results in a significant number of harmful bacteria in the mouth that cause disease.

These detrimental microorganisms create plaque that develops on the teeth and in turn, infects the gums. Without the proper care and professional cleanings, your mouth can develop Gingivitis, and even a more serious gum infection, Periodontal Disease.

Once your gums are infected, the bacteria is able to enter the bloodstream, forming plaque and blood clotting. Blood clots usually restrict the flow of blood and lead to heart attack or stroke.

The mouth is the gateway to the body’s digestive and respiratory tracts, making it essential to maintain oral health and guard the gateway from harmful invaders.

6 Other Illnesses Linked to Oral Infections:

  1. Endocarditis – a disease of the inner lining of your heart valves and chambers, (the endocardium). This can occur when bacteria, fungi or other germs from a different part of your body, such as your mouth, and then travels through your bloodstream and attaches to areas in the heart that have been harmed.
  2. Cardiovascular Disease – a range of diseases that involves the heart or blood vessels. This can be caused by plaque buildup thickening and stiffening artery walls, often leading to heart attack or stroke.
  3. Pregnancy and Birth Complications – When your gums are inflamed it can can trigger a series of tissue-destructive events that pass into blood circulation and can cause premature birth and miscarriage.
  4. Pneumonia – Oral pathogens related to gum infection can increase the risk of developing or intensifying existing respiratory illness
  5. Memory Loss – When gums are infected gums bacteria is more likely to enter the bloodstream and travel to the brain which causes inflammation and production of toxic proteins that in return result in Alzheimer’s disease
  6. Weakened Immune System – It is no secret harmful bacteria in the gums worsens your immune system causing a severe imbalance in the gums’ microbial community. Weakened the immune systems leads to shortened life expectancy.

Poor Oral Hygiene Effects More than Just Our Mouth:

When infection in the gums develops to Advanced Periodontitis, the teeth usually become loose and then fall out. They can also cause intense pain which results in tooth extractions. When we lose our teeth, we are more susceptible to physical and psychological illness as well.

Tooth loss usually causes people to restrict themselves to a liquid or soft diet, leading to malnutrition, which can lead to greater risk of disease. Those that switch to a denture may lose appetite due to coverage of the palate, escalating nutrition problems.

Many who lose teeth begin to refrain from smiling and socializing because they are embarrassed and even ashamed. Smiling and socializing are integral to mental health, when you don’t smile or socialize for a long period of time you can become depressed and experience a negative impact on the brain.

Best Practices to Maintain Healthy Oral Hygiene:

Brushing and flossing your teeth twice daily is the best way to prevent the spread of bacteria and plaque in the mouth. Mouthwash also helps rinse out bacteria that may have been left over while brushing.

Visiting the dentist regularly (at least twice a year) allows a trained professional to evaluate the existing state of your oral health and clean any build-up that is hard to remove through simply brushing and flossing.

Treat Gum Diseases That is Already Present:

Gum disease in its early stages can sometimes be maintained using the solutions mentioned above. If gum disease progresses to an advanced stage (Advanced Periodontitis), however, the infection has likely already spread below the gum line and around the roots of the teeth. In these cases, surgical action may be necessary.

Those with Advanced Periodontal Disease have likely already lost teeth or are in progress of losing them. To remove the infection, an oral surgeon may need to extract the affected teeth and make an incision in the gums to access the underlying infection and eradicate it.

Patients who undergo this procedure may use a denture to replace extracted teeth, but the ideal solution is to have dental implants placed instead. This is because:

A denture permanently restricts its wearer to a soft diet, which can prevent them from ingesting needed ingredients from harder-to-chew foods.

The denture’s coverage of the palate can also cause a loss in appetite and further complicate nutrition problems.

Gaps between the denture and the gums leave room for food to become lodged and bacteria to accumulate

Dental Implants restore up to 85% of original bite allowing the recipient to eat normal food. They also act as the root of a tooth to reinforce the jawbone and maintain its integrity.

Call us today for more information about Scottsdale dental implants Â with Total Freedom Dental Implant Center.


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Whether you’re seeking a first or second opinion, or even if you decide to choose another dental provider, a consultation with Dr. Kaiser will provide you with invaluable insights into your unique dental situation and the available options. You won’t be disappointed.

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