A Healthy Mouth Means A Healthy Body

A healthy mouth means a healthy body

A healthy mouth means a healthy body explains why good oral hygiene helps the body and how what you eat affects your oral health. Losing your teeth is not the only price for a lack of good oral hygiene because the costs are not limited to your mouth. For instance, diabetes may be harder to manage if oral health is neglected for a long time. In other words, there is a link that good oral health can improve diabetes. Read A healthy mouth means a healthy body to find out how gum disease can emanate from poor oral hygiene. And how what you eat affects your oral health.

Gum disease

a healthy mouth means a healthy body

Three in four adults have at least mild gum disease. More severe gum disease may affect as many as 30%. Adolescents often have gum disease due to a combination of raging hormones and negligent oral hygiene. Add an unhealthful habit, and the chances of oral health problems worsen still.

A study also found an increase in gum disease in young adults who were heavy users of marijuana. But regardless of severity, gum problems can be quite silent. That is pain is minimal while bleeding or reddened gums may be the only sign. Yet disregarding oral health could have serious overall repercussions. This is where the reality of a healthy mouth means a healthy body becomes significant. For example, research suggests that gum problems trigger bacterial infections and make blood sugar more difficult for diabetics to control. Equally, diabetes can cause or worsen gum disease. It’s simply a two-way street. Furthermore, oral bacteria found in arteria plaque induces a process that leads to blood clots and stroke confirming the mouth-body connection.

Diabetes Link To Oral Health Problems

Those at risk of gum disease

Post-menopausal women

Getting on in years also escalates the risk. A shift in hormones puts post-menopausal women at risk of osteoporosis, which may raise the chances of developing gum disease. Entering menopause with pre-existing gum disease may speed the destruction of the jawbone, making implants and other repairs more challenging. Old age may bring arthritis and lessened dexterity with floss and toothbrush. But losing teeth is no longer a foregone conclusion. However, visits to the dentist most likely need to increase.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy may introduce pitfalls, too. If you are thinking of becoming pregnant or if you are pregnant, be sure you have no oral infection.  About half of the expectant mothers develop gum disease, due in part to hormones. Research suggests that having gum disease makes a pregnant woman several times more likely to deliver a preterm, low-birth-weight baby. High levels of a labor-inducing chemical associated with severe gum disease, may be to blame. Deep cleanings, known as scaling and root planning, for women with severe gum diseases, may reduce premature and low birth weight in such women.

How What You Eat Affects Your Oral Health

a healthy mouth  means a healthy body

Your mouth can say a lot about what you are eating, and your dentist may be the first person to spot potential nutritional imbalances.  Nutritional deficiencies result when there is an imbalance between what the body needs and what it is getting. And those imbalances are particularly reflected in the oral cavity, where soft tissue renews very quickly-often as little as three to seven days. The sensitivity of oral tissue can be particularly telling regarding deficiencies in folic acid, zinc, and iron, which can show up as gum disease. Other conditions, such as diabetes and infection can also show symptoms in the mouth. And since a healthy mouth means a healthy body, your dentist may be the first member of your healthcare team to notice potential nutritional problems. Therefore, it’s important to keep your doctors well informed on medical histories, lifestyle, and eating habits in order to identify any risks.

Importance of a balanced diet

a healthy mouth means a healthy body

Nutritional deficiencies limit the body’s ability to fight disease, and in many cases, the mouth is the first line of defense. Healthy gum tissue and saliva are crucial in fending off invading pathogens. You can improve your oral health and reduce the risk of gum disease by eating a balanced diet. This means eating a variety of foods from the five food groups: grain, fruit, vegetables, milk, and meat. Also, vitamin and mineral supplements can help preserve oral health and boost overall health and well-being. For example, minerals vital to good oral health include zinc, phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, iron, iodine, fluoride, and copper. Likewise, milk, which contains high levels of calcium, is important for oral health and strong teeth and bones.

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/oral-health

Photo Credit: Creative Commons

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