Good oral hygiene is vital for healthy teeth and gums. It prevents tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. But it is also essential in improving your overall physical health. Researchers have found that your oral health plays a role in mitigating illnesses and other medical conditions that affect the rest of your body.
Take better care of your body by finding more about your oral health. Educate yourself on the medical conditions that are exacerbated by bad oral hygiene. Additionally, know what signs and symptoms to look for in your mouth to help you determine if you have an underlying medical condition. Once you’ve done this, you can search for a reliable dentist who will help you keep track of your oral health.
Medical Conditions Linked to Oral Health
Bad oral hygiene often leads to gingivitis and other types of gum disease (e.g., periodontitis and trench mouth). These cause bad breath and chronic pain. For severe cases, they lead to infections that cause frequent bleeding. When the bacteria from these infections enter your bloodstream, they can spread to other parts of your body.
Endocarditis is an infection that occurs when bacteria and other germs attach themselves to the chambers and valves of your heart. Studies suggest that the bacteria found in tooth plaque and gingivitis can enter the bloodstream and, eventually, your heart.
Diabetes and oral health are closely associated with each other. Controlling your blood sugar levels is more challenging when you have some type of gum disease. Alternatively, diabetes impacts your immune system, making it harder for your body to resist infections, including gum disease.
Studies suggest that severe gum disease puts women at risk of premature delivery and other types of pregnancy complications. An oral infection can trigger the body’s natural response to threats, producing substances that fight against bacteria but induce labor.
Good Oral Hygiene for Better Physical Health
One of the simplest ways to avoid bad oral health is through proper oral hygiene. In addition to giving you a bright smile and preventing bad breath, it keeps germs and bacteria from accumulating in your mouth. Here are some things to take into consideration to improve how you take care of your oral health.
- Use a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste to clean your teeth. Do this at least twice a day.
- Floss your teeth before or after your brush. Do this at least once a day.
- Gargle anti-bacterial mouthwash to remove any excess food particles after your brush and floss.
- Limit your intake of sugary and unhealthy food and drinks.
- Lessen tobacco use (e.g., smoking or chewing) to avoid buildup in your teeth and gums.
- Replace your toothbrush every three months or when the bristles are too worn for proper use.
- Visit your dentist every six months for checkups and cleanings.
In addition to these tips, consider observing your oral health. Even with regular brushing and flossing, some complications can arise. Make sure you catch them before they get worse to prevent other health risks.