What is the relationship between oral health and overall health?
The mouth is the access point to your digestive and respiratory tracts, and it collects all sorts of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Some of them belong there, making up the normal flora of your mouth and are harmless in small quantities, and some of these bacteria can cause disease.
Normally the body's natural defenses and good oral health care, including daily brushing and flossing, control bacteria. But without proper oral hygiene, bacteria can reach levels that might lead to oral infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease.
Cavities are areas of the tooth that have been permanently damaged and may even have holes in them. They occur when bacteria, food, and acid coat your teeth and form a plaque. The acid on your teeth starts to eat away at the enamel and then the underlying dentin, or connective tissue.
Bacteria near your gumline thrive in a plaque. Plaque accumulates, hardens, and migrates down the length of your tooth. If it is not removed regularly by brushing and flossing, it can inflame your gums and cause gingivitis.
Increased inflammation causes your gums to begin to pull away from your teeth. This process creates pockets in which pus may eventually collect. This more advanced stage of gum disease is called periodontitis.
Bacteria and the inflammation associated with periodontitis may play a role in other diseases. And certain diseases, including diabetes, osteoporosis, Alzheimer's, and HIV/AIDS, can lower the body's resistance to infection, making oral health problems more severe.
Also, certain medications can reduce saliva flow. Saliva washes away food and neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in the mouth, helping to protect you from microbes that multiply and lead to disease.
There are many factors that contribute to gingivitis and periodontitis, including:
- Poor brushing habits
- High sugar intake
- Medications that reduce the amount of saliva in the mouth including antidepressants, painkillers, antihistamines, and decongestants
- Certain infections, including HIV or AIDS
- Hormonal changes
- Acid reflux or heartburn
- Easting disorders with frequent vomiting, due to the acid
What other diseases can oral health affect?
Your oral health might contribute to various diseases and conditions, including:
- Cardiovascular disease. Although the connection is not fully understood, some research suggests that heart disease, clogged arteries and stroke might be linked to the inflammation and infections that oral bacteria can cause.
- Endocarditis. This infection of the inner lining of your heart chambers or valves (endocardium) typically occurs when bacteria or other germs from another part of your body, such as your mouth, spread through your bloodstream and attach to certain areas in your heart.
- Pregnancy and birth complications. Periodontitis has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight.
- Pneumonia. Certain bacteria in your mouth can be pulled into your lungs, causing pneumonia and other respiratory diseases.
How can you protect your oral health?
To protect your oral health, daily oral hygiene practices are imperative
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time. Use a soft-bristled brush.
- Use mouthwash to remove food particles left after brushing and flossing.
- Floss daily.
- Eat a healthy diet and limit sugary food and drinks.
- Replace your toothbrush every three to four months, or sooner if bristles are splayed or worn
- Schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings.
- Avoid tobacco use.
Make sure that if any oral issues arise, contact your dentist, and treat them as quickly as possible. Taking care of your oral health is an investment in your overall health.
What oral care products do we love?
David’s Premium Toothpaste in Peppermint or Spearmint
Made using the highest quality naturally sourced and naturally derived ingredients to whiten teeth, fight plaque, and freshen breath safely & effectively.
David’s Premium Whitening Toothpaste
Made using nano-hydroxyapatite (n-HA) to repair sensitive teeth + remineralize enamel, this natural toothpaste fights plaque and freshens breath.
The packaging along with the elegant formulas, make Marvis a great staple.
Marvis Eau de Bouche Mouthwash
This alcohol-free, concentrated mouthwash is formulated to kill germs and neutralize odor-causing bacteria without stripping or irritating your teeth and gums.
Sleek and chic. A lightweight acrylic handle with soft or medium nylon bristles stylishly finished with Marvis's logo embossed in silver.
Marvis Toothpaste Squeezer
This ceramic toothpaste squeezer holds your favorite toothpaste flavor and ensures not a drop is wasted.