Just like the other parts of the body, a person’s mouth would have the mostly harmless presence of bacteria. However, the mouth could be the entry point to your digestive and respiratory tract and some of the bacteria might cause disease. The natural defenses of the body and good oral health care like flossing, brushing etc. can keep the bacteria under control. Without proper oral hygiene bacteria at my readers’ level might lead to wall infections like gum disease and tooth decay.
Some medications like antihistamines, decongestants, painkillers, diuretics and antidepressants might reduce saliva flow. Saliva washes away food and neutralises acids that are produced by bacteria in the mouth which helps to protect you from microbes that multiply and lead to disease. Oral bacteria and inflammation associated with a serious form of gum disease might play a role when it comes to some other diseases.
Conditions that might seem to influence oral health
- Oral health can contribute to different types of diseases and conditions which can be as follows:
- Endocarditis: It means the infection of the inner lining of the heart chambers or valves. It typically occurs when the bacteria or other germs from other parts of your body, like the mouth, spreads through your bloodstream and get attached to some areas in your heart.
- Cardiovascular disease: Although the connection of cardiovascular disease with oral health is not fully understood, it is believed that heart disease, clogged arteries and stroke might be linked to inflammation and infections caused by oral bacteria.
- Birth complications and pregnancy: Periodontitis is linked to premature birth and low birth weight.
- Pneumonia: Certain bacteria in your mouth might be pulled into your lungs which would cause pneumonia and other respiratory diseases.
Some conditions that also might affect your oral health include:
- Diabetes: If the body’s resistance to infection is reduced, diabetes would put your gums at risk. Gum disease might be more frequent and severe among people who have diabetes. People who have gum disease would have a harder time controlling their blood sugar levels. Regular periodontal care could improve diabetes control.
- HIV/AIDS: Oral problems like pain for mucosal lesions may be common among people who have HIV/AIDS.
- Osteoporosis: This born weakening issue might be linked with periodontal bone loss as well as tooth loss. Some drugs could be used to treat osteoporosis that carries a small risk of damage to the jawbones.
- Alzheimer’s disease: Worsening oral health can be observed as Alzheimer’s disease progresses.
- Eating disorders, certain cancers, rheumatoid arthritis and immune system disorders that might cause dry mouth would also be related to oral health issues. You could speak to your dentist regarding the medications you take and regarding the changes in your overall health if you had been recently or might have a chronic condition like diabetes.
How to protect oral health?
Make sure that you brush your teeth at least twice a day for 2 minutes every time. You could use a soft bristle toothbrush and apply fluoride toothpaste to it. Floss your mouth regularly. Make sure that you eat a healthy diet and reduce sugary food as well as drinks. Make use of mouthwash to eliminate food particles that are left out after flossing and brushing. Make sure that you replace your toothbrush every three to four months or when the bristles are worn out. Schedule frequent dental check-ups and cleanings. Completely avoid the use of tobacco as well. Reach out to your dentist as soon as an oral health issue comes up. Taking care of your oral health would be an investment in your overall health.