Caring for the pearly whites is crucial for overall health. Besides yellow stains and icky breath, a dirty mouth can also cause some very serious health concerns. So put your money where your mouth is. More than 6 billion bacteria live inside the average human mouth. The wrong buildup of microbes in the mouth can lead to various infections, tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease. Oral bacteria when enter into the blood stream, can cause an array of diseases.
Oral upkeep does not just help to get rid of mouth odor, cavities, and gum problems, it’s also linked to life satisfaction and happiness. Maintaining those pearly whites pays off, big time.
Below are six diseases which either contribute to or are affected by neglecting the dentist’s advice:
Diabetes: Diabetic symptoms set the stage for the oral infections to occur. These infections interfere with blood sugar levels. Chemical signals that interfere with sugar and fat metabolism by hindering insulin secretion in the pancreas are multiplied in an infected mouth. Cytokines are produced inside the irritated or swelling tissues and leak into the bloodstream interfering the insulin secretion. Too much sugar in the blood masks the structure of protein molecules in the blood which leads to swelling of tissues in the mouth…and elsewhere.
Osteoporosis: Bone mineral density helps to predict periodontal disease — and vice versa. A recent study tracking the rates of periodontal disease in postmenopausal women for five years found that the severity of their mouth problems and osteoporosis increased at a similar rate. The mineral loss makes teeth more susceptible to the bad sides of oral bacteria.
Cardiovascular Disease: The oral bacteria can easily infiltrate our bloodstreams. Through bleeding gums, mouth sores, and other scrapes or bruises between our cheeks oral microbes can enter into the circulatory system and inflame the tissues that line our heart (Endocarditis). It can lead to plaque build-up in the arteries, and may precipitate aneurysms.
Alzheimer’s Disease: People suffering from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are at a higher risk for poor oral health, primarily because they’re less able to independently attend to it. Many medications currently used to treat dementias also interfere with the mouth’s saliva production, which raises the risk of mouth and throat issues even higher.
Premature birth: Women who give birth to premature babies have more mouth infections than those who deliver babies closer to their ETAs. Molecular signals(cytokines and C-reactive protein) released by inflamed gums enter into the placenta through mother’s bloodstream. Damage done to the baby signals her body that it’s time to get the baby out.
Stress: One study found that stressed out mother’s had higher rates of cavities and fewer teeth than their less stressed (both groups had the same average rates of tooth plaque). Another found that people working in high-stress environments also had higher rates of cavities and other periodontal problems.
Protect your body and mind through your mouth!
Brush up. Twice a day, for two minutes. Bristles can’t get everything, floss at least once a day.
Rinse with antimicrobial mouthwash for 30 to 60 seconds daily.
Change your toothbrush at least once every four months
Visit your dentist once every six months.
Chew a stick of sugar-free gum after meals or snacks to increase the secretion of saliva.