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The Mouth, Your Warning System To Your Overall Health

April 10, 2024
The Mouth, Your Warning System To

It may surprise you how closely linked your oral health is to your overall wellness. Your teeth, the soft tissues of your mouth, and your jaw are all part of your oral health and their condition can indicate a wide variety of other health issues. Learn how your mouth can serve as a warning system to your overall health. 

The Link Between Oral Health and Heart Disease

Relatively recent research has shown that there is a correlation between oral health and heart disease. People with chronic or untreated gum disease and tooth decay are twice as likely to suffer from heart disease. Why is this? 

"Periodontal disease increases the body's burden of inflammation," says periodontist Dr. Hatice Hasturk of the Harvard-affiliated Forsyth Institute, a not-for-profit research organization focused on oral health. “Acute inflammation, which involves an outpouring of immune cells that attack irritants and microbial invaders, fosters healing over the short term. But long-term (chronic) inflammation is a key contributor to many health problems, especially atherosclerosis.

To date, there's no proof that treating gum disease will prevent cardiovascular disease or its complications. But the connection is compelling enough that dentists (and many doctors) say it's yet another reason to be vigilant about preventing gum disease in the first place.” 

The Link Between Diabetes and Oral Health 

Medical research has also shown a correlation between diabetes and gum disease. It is not certain which one may be the cause of the other. But diabetes results in higher levels of sugar in the body, which can be present in your saliva. A high sugar content in saliva can lead to an increase in plaque on the teeth, which can cause gum disease and tooth decay. 

Again we must consider diet. A diet high in sugar may increase the risk of diabetes and is associated with higher body weight. It also increases the amount of plaque that builds up on the teeth, which we already know increases the risk of developing gum disease. 

Warning Signs From Your Mouth 

Here are some of the signs you may notice that indicate your oral health is suffering: 

  • Toothache. A toothache often indicates that there is an infection inside the tooth. This can occur due to severe tooth decay. 
  • Red or swollen gums. Gum disease causes the gum tissue to swell and turn red due to inflammation. 
  • Bleeding gums. Your gums may bleed when you brush your teeth due to gum disease. 
  • Loose or missing teeth. Advanced gum disease can cause your gums to pull away from the teeth and damage the jaw bone so that your teeth become loose and even fall out. 
  • Tooth decay. Severe or widespread tooth decay indicates that there is an excessive amount of plaque on your teeth. 
  • Bad breath. Bad breath results from abnormally high levels of bacteria in the mouth. 

How Can I Keep My Mouth and Body Healthy? 

There are many ways to prevent health issues that affect both your mouth and body: 

  • Regular teeth cleanings. It is important to have your teeth professionally cleaned every 6 months, along with an oral evaluation to assess the health of your mouth. 
  • Good oral hygiene habits. You need to take good care of your teeth between professional cleanings by brushing and flossing daily. 
  • Treat tooth decay promptly. If your dentist detects a cavity, get it filled as soon as possible. Without treatment a cavity will only become deeper and larger, which increases the risk of infection. An infected tooth should be treated right away with root canal therapy to save the tooth and prevent the spread of infection. 
  • Healthy diet. Eating a healthy diet can improve your oral health as well as your overall health and wellness, reducing your risk of heart disease and diabetes. 
  • Exercise. Regular exercise is also important for heart health and maintaining a healthy body weight. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Oral Health and Wellness

How often should you brush your teeth? 

We recommend brushing your teeth twice a day for at least 2 minutes every day. You should also floss once a day to remove plaque from the spaces between your teeth and along the gumline. 

How urgent is a root canal? 

If your dentist or endodontist recommends a root canal, it is best to get it done as soon as possible. An infected tooth will only worsen without treatment. And proactively treating a tooth that is at risk of infection can prevent pain and save the tooth. 

Improve Your Oral Health With Help From Advanced Endodontics 

Endodontic treatment can restore the health of a damaged or infected tooth. Tooth infection is another indication that your mouth is not as healthy as it should be. Advanced Endodontics provides a wide range of endodontic services that can restore the health of your teeth and help you keep your natural teeth in place. 

Contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment. 

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Advanced Endodontics
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