Our oral health is more important than most of us realise. The health of your mouth, teeth and gums can affect your overall health, and can offer clues about your health. Problems in your mouth can affect the rest of your body, so it is important to understand the very close connection between oral health and overall health, and what to do to protect yourself.
Like the rest of your body, your mouth is teeming with bacteria, most of which are harmless. Your body has many different mechanisms and defences, and combined with good oral care, can keep these bacteria under control, at healthy and harmless levels. Without proper oral hygiene, bacteria can reach levels that might lead to infection, tooth decay and gum disease.
Some medications can cause dehydration and reduce saliva flow. Saliva washes away food and neutralises acids that are produced by bacteria in your mouth, helping to protect you from overgrowth that may lead to disease.
Studies also suggest that oral bacteria, and the inflammation associated with periodontitis, may play a direct role in some systematic diseases including increased risk of arteriosclerosis and stoke, and that certain diseases can lower the body's resistance to infection, making oral health problems more severe.
It is important that you tell your Dentist if you're taking any medications or have had any changes in your overall health, especially if you've had a recent illness or you have a chronic condition like diabetes.
Practicing good oral hygiene every day will help to protect your oral health, and should include:
Contact us as soon as an oral health problem arises, so that we can help you to stop it in its tracks.
Remember, taking care of your oral health is an investment in your overall health.
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