As research continues and more scientific advancements happen each year, there is mounting evidence that your oral and overall health are connected. Your dentist in Wicker Park is here to tell you this is 100 percent true. This gives a whole new reasoning to why it’s super important to brush, floss, and see your dental hygienist regularly. Having teeth and a mouth that are healthy means that the rest of your body can stay healthy, too. It works both ways, though… if you’ve got issues with your teeth or gums, you could increase your risk for more severe health issues elsewhere in your body.
Let’s dig a little deeper to learn more about this powerful connection that you can’t afford to ignore…
That’s right. Picture your mouth as a window, giving us a glimpse of what’s going on in other parts of your body. This is key when doctors are trying to detect early signs of systemic diseases. These kinds of diseases are dangerous to your entire body, not just a specific part. The Academy of General Dentistry says that more than 90 percent of all systemic diseases produce symptoms in the mouth. People with AIDS or diabetes often find one of the first symptoms appear in the form of a lesion in the mouth or problems with their teeth or gums.
Did you know that there can be more than 500 types of bacteria in your mouth right now? They like to form plaque on your teeth. This colorless, yet sticky film sticks to your dental enamel and can even lead to health problems. When plaque and harmful bacteria build up in your mouth and around your gum line, this can sometimes lead to periodontal disease or gingivitis.
Your Wicker Park dentist will tell you that gum disease can lead to infections in your mouth. The bacteria from these infections can sometimes end up in your bloodstream. This is where the research comes into play that we talked about earlier. Scientists are starting to find evidence in their research that oral infections can be associated with health issues such as:
– Preterm births
– Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
What You Should Do to Protect Yourself and Your Smile
We’re always going to fight against bacteria and plaque to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Because now we know that if your mouth is healthy, the rest of your body can stay in good shape too. You see why it’s so critical to protect your oral health so that your overall health doesn’t suffer. Make sure to:
– Brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day. (Don’t forget to floss! This is super important for getting bacteria out from in between teeth that your brush didn’t catch.)
– Use mouthwash to remove any unwanted or trapped food particles.
– Keep sugary foods and drinks to a minimum
– Eat a diet rich with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and proteins.
– Replace your toothbrush every three months or when the bristles begin to break down.
– Avoid tobacco use in its many forms available today.
The biggest and most important step you can take to protect your smile and your overall health is to keep regularly scheduled checkups and cleanings with our dental office in Wicker Park. If you notice a change in your teeth or your gum health, always give us a call as soon as you can. Remember that taking care of your teeth today is an investment in your overall health for tomorrow.