Oral Health Education
Dentist Palo Alto, CA
Oral health has a much larger impact on our overall health than most people might realize. It can affect other aspects of general health, not just the teeth, but gums, stomach, and guts too. This is known as the oral systemic connection. Having poor oral health has been linked to various diseases and conditions. Aside from issues such as tooth loss, gum disease, cavities, or bad breath, poor oral hygiene can also lead to an abrupt decline in your immunity. It can indirectly participate in causing issues with the heart and lungs too, in some cases.
When it comes to prenatal care, poor oral health can raise some serious concerns for both the mother and the child. Having good oral health is a great asset, and as you might have guessed, there are a lot of ways to maintain optimal oral hygiene. Come visit us at Palo Alto Oral Health for more information on dental hygiene and get your oral health checked today by Shiv Sharma DDS or Christina Lin DDS.
Importance of Having Good Oral Health
Good oral health is more than just having a wide and charming smile. It is connected to your overall health and can stir up a storm of health issues if not given proper care. Having good oral health can help you prevent bad breath, tooth loss, and gum disease that can lead to more serious complications.
The bacteria in your mouth are mostly harmless, but some of them can cause issues to your respiratory and circulatory system when neglected for too long. Different conditions such as cardiovascular disease, endocarditis, pneumonia, and some birth complications that are caused by poor dental health can be prevented with good oral hygiene.
How Poor Oral Health Can Affect Pregnancy
A pregnant woman's health is vital in the development of the baby inside the womb. Oral health is an important part of prenatal care and should not be neglected. There have been many cases in the past where poor oral health led to birth complications as they got overlooked. Having a good oral condition is crucial for both maternal and fetal health as pregnancy can make women more prone to gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis.
During pregnancy, gingivitis can quickly take shape due to hormonal changes resulting in swollen and bleeding gums. If not treated early, the bone that supports the teeth may deteriorate and the gums can become infected. If the tooth does not have enough support from the gums, it may become loose or fall out completely. Periodontitis is also linked with poor pregnancy outcomes as it can cause low birth weight and preterm birth.
Other Effects of Poor Oral Health
One effect of poor oral health is endocarditis, an infection that can decimate the inner lining of your heart chambers. This happens when the germs and bacteria from the infected area are spread to parts of your heart through the bloodstream. Some studies have shown that oral bacteria that can cause inflammation and that infections do have some role in the onset of cardiovascular diseases such as clogged arteries, heart disease, and stroke. In some cases, the bacteria from infected locations can travel to your lungs and develop conditions like pneumonia.
Medical Conditions That Can Affect Oral Health
Some of the most common medical conditions that have a close relationship with oral health are diabetes, osteoporosis, HIV/AIDS, and Alzheimer's disease. Diabetes is the most common out of them all and has been known to put gums at risk as it reduces the body's resistance to infections. People who have diabetes have a higher chance of getting periodontal diseases.
Gum disease can also deregulate blood sugar levels in your body and the only way to check that is with regular periodontal care. Another condition that can affect your oral health is osteoporosis. It is a health condition that weakens the bones and lowers bone density. Osteoporosis can affect the jawbone too as it deteriorates the root strength underneath your teeth. People who have osteoporosis are three times more likely to lose teeth.
Just like diabetes, HIV/AIDS also weakens the immune system making it easier for infections and other oral-related problems to sprout. It can cause painful issues in the mouth such as dryness, thrush, canker sores, and mouth ulcers. Most mouth problems caused by HIV are treatable to a quite large extent, though.
Alzheimer's is a brain disorder that slowly destroys the thinking skills and memory of those affected by it. According to a few studies, the bacteria that can cause periodontal disease are associated with the development of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. The bacteria, if neglected for too long, can travel from infections in the mouth and to the brain through the bloodstream.
How to Protect your Oral Health
Taking care of your oral health is beneficial not just for your teeth and gums, but also for your overall health. There are a lot of ways to secure optimal oral health and prevent possible issues that can affect your general health. Brushing and flossing your teeth in 12-hour intervals with a dental-recommended toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste is one way to achieve that.
Getting your regular dental checkups and cleanings can give you an insight into the current state of your oral health and can prevent existing issues from becoming worse. Having a healthy diet with less sugary and gelatinous products is also recommended for good oral health. Smoking, chewing tobacco, and drinking alcohol can increase the risk of gum disease, as well as some types of cancers like oral, lung, and esophageal.
Besides your mouth, the oral-systemic connection of poor oral health with certain parts of the body such as the circulatory and respiratory systems are majorly affected too. Not practicing proper oral hygiene during prenatal care can also raise pressing issues. Having good oral health is important as it takes away the discomfort from possible dental issues. Protecting and giving your teeth the proper care it needs can help in preventing dental issues such as gum disease, which can lead to more serious problems.
Schedule An Appointment in Palo Alto
Regular dental checkups are key to keeping your overall health in a good condition. Get your oral health checked with us at Palo Alto Oral Health by giving us a call at (650) 321-9693 to schedule a checkup in Palo Alto today!