Good oral hygiene helps you keep your mouth healthy, preventing dental decay and gum disease. In this post, our Lloydminster dentists explain how good dental health contributes to your overall wellbeing.
Maintaining proper oral hygiene is a significant factor in promoting better dental health. By consistently practicing good oral hygiene habits, you increase the likelihood of preserving your teeth as you grow older. Since dental health can have an impact on your overall physical well-being, adopting effective oral hygiene practices can contribute positively to your general health.
A Healthy Salivary Flow
Saliva serves as a valuable diagnostic tool, allowing doctors and dentists to detect and diagnose systemic diseases even before symptoms become evident.
Moreover, saliva acts as a defense mechanism by neutralizing bacteria and viruses before they enter your body. It plays a crucial role in protecting you against disease-causing microorganisms.
Saliva contains antibodies that actively combat viral pathogens, including common cold viruses and even HIV. It also possesses enzymes that effectively eliminate bacteria through various mechanisms such as breaking down bacterial membranes, disrupting essential bacterial enzyme systems, and inhibiting the growth and metabolism of certain bacteria.
Maintaining a healthy salivary flow is generally simple for most individuals. The key lies in staying hydrated! It is important to drink an ample amount of water throughout the day to promote a healthy salivary flow.
Dental Plaque & Infection
In your mouth, there exists a diverse community of over 500 different species of bacteria, constantly forming dental plaque—a sticky, transparent film that adheres to your teeth and contributes to various health issues.
Failure to maintain regular and thorough brushing and flossing allows dental plaque to accumulate between your gums and teeth, eventually leading to a gum infection known as gingivitis. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress into a more severe infection called periodontitis, commonly referred to as gum disease.
If you have periodontitis, even simple dental procedures or routine brushing can serve as pathways for the abundant oral bacteria to enter your bloodstream.
When your immune system is robust, the presence of oral bacteria in your bloodstream does not pose significant problems. However, if your immune system is compromised due to factors such as illness or cancer treatment, the oral bacteria in your bloodstream may potentially trigger infections in other parts of your body.
Infective endocarditis, which is when oral bacteria enter the bloodstream and stick to the lining of diseased heart valves, is an example of this.
Dental Plaque Can Link to Common Conditions
Having a healthy mouth may help you ward off certain diseases and medical problems such as stroke, heart attack, complications related to diabetes, and even preterm labour.
Poorly Controlled Diabetes
Chronic gum disease may make diabetes more difficult to control. The infection may cause insulin resistance, which can disrupt blood sugar control.
Bacteria in the mouth may cause inflammation throughout the body, including the arteries, meaning gingivitis may play a role in clogged arteries and blood clots.
In addition, gum disease and tooth loss may contribute to the development of plaques in the carotid artery.