The mouth is the gateway to the body, says Dr. Sherwin Nabi from The Dental Lounge at Brentwood. And when you recognize the significance of that, it makes complete sense that any problems originating there can have a serious impact on your overall health.
“Oral health plays a crucial role in maintaining your overall health and well-being. It really goes beyond having a bright smile and healthy teeth,” explains the Burnaby dentist.
So, how does the state of your mouth affect your body?
Here are five impacts your oral health can make to your overall wellness.
1. Systemic health connections
Several studies have revealed links between oral health and various systemic conditions. In these, poor oral health has been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory infections, stroke and even adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Circling back to how the mouth is the gateway to the body, bacteria present in the mouth can enter the bloodstream and spread to other parts of the body, which can contribute to the development or worsening of these conditions.
2. Inflammation and infection
Oral health issues like gum disease, which is also known as periodontitis, can lead to chronic inflammation in the mouth. This inflammation, in turn, can trigger a systemic inflammatory response, which can have negative effects on other parts of the body.
And exactly how inflammation can spread from the mouth to the rest of the body, infections in the mouth can do the same if left untreated, causing a systemic infection that can manifest throughout the body. In some cases, untreated infection can even trigger sepsis, where the body has an extreme, life-threatening response to an infection.
3. Respiratory health
The oral cavity and the respiratory system are closely connected.
Because of this linkage, bacteria from oral infections can be inhaled into the lungs, potentially leading to respiratory infections, pneumonia, or exacerbation of existing respiratory conditions.
4. Nutritional impact
Chewing, biting and swallowing are all essential for proper nutrition.
Oral health problems, like missing teeth, tooth decay or gum disease can make it difficult to eat certain foods, which can lead to nutritional deficiencies. Poor nutrition, in turn, can weaken the immune system and increase the risk of developing other health problems.
5. Mental health and quality of life
Oral health issues can have a significant impact on a person's mental well-being and quality of life. Pain, discomfort and embarrassment caused by dental problems can also lead to decreased self-esteem, social isolation and even depression or anxiety.
However, it doesn’t have to be all bad news. Taking care of your teeth at home is one of the best ways to maintain good oral health and, consequently, overall health.
It is important to practice regular oral hygiene, including brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily, but it’s equally important to visit your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings to stay ahead of any issues.
To book an appointment with The Dental Lounge at Brentwood, Burnaby, please visit their website at thedentallounge.ca.