The Link Between Oral, Overall Health

Jul 3, 2017

It’s not uncommon to hear about the mind-body connection, and how a stressful lifestyle can impact your overall health. Less frequently mentioned — but no less important — is the connection between your oral health and systemic wellbeing. Did you know that healthy teeth and gums promote better overall health? Your dentist in St. Peter, Dr. Jenny Miller, wants to remind patients that the connection is real. Let’s take a closer look at how your smile affects the rest of your body in this week’s blog post.

Cardiovascular Health

Your gums provide a direct entry point into the bloodstream, and an infection here can quickly spread to other areas of the body. That’s why the link between your oral health and your heart is especially strong. Because having one inflammatory disease increases your risk of having another elsewhere in the body, avoiding gum disease in St. Peter is crucial for continued overall wellbeing, especially as we age.

Gum disease has been linked to a number of heart problems, including…

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Heart attack
  • High blood pressure
  • Hypertension
  • Endocarditis

Mental Health

Insufficient oral hygiene can also take an indirect but sizable toll on your mental health. People who do not brush and floss regularly are at a much greater risk of experiencing tooth loss as they age. Missing teeth can put you at risk of everything from poor nutrition, as eating your favorite nutritious foods becomes difficult, to low self-confidence, depression, and anxiety caused by gaps in the smile. Recent research also points to periodontitis as an early indicator of memory loss, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Pregnancy and Birth

Hormone fluctuations during pregnancy can cause a form of gum disease we call pregnancy gingivitis. The condition is usually temporary and mild, but should still be monitored by your dentist. Not only is it perfectly safe to see the dentist during pregnancy, doing so can help you enjoy a healthier labor and delivery. Gum disease in pregnant women has been linked to low birthweight and premature birth.

The Basics of Preventive Care

So what can you do to avoid these health risks and enjoy better overall wellbeing? Take care of that smile! A few years (or decades) have probably passed since you first learned about the basics of dental hygiene, and maybe you need a brush up on proper oral care. That’s what we’re here for! Remember that to keep healthy teeth and gums for a lifetime to come, it’s important that you…

  • Brush for two minutes after each meal or at least twice daily
  • Floss daily
  • Maintain a balanced, low-sugar diet
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day
  • Avoid tobacco

Questions? Talk to Us Today!

Do you have further questions about how your oral health affects your systemic wellbeing? Or maybe it’s been awhile since you’ve seen a dentist in regards to your oral health care. Either way, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Valley View Dental! Request an appointment with Dr. MIller and our team today.

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