“How does having a healthy mouth help me have a healthy body?”
Having healthy teeth and gums will help prevent bad breath, gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss. Those are important goals, but the benefits are deeper than that. In addition to maintaining a beautiful smile and the ability to enjoy good food, a healthy mouth may help you prevent major health issues as well.
Your mouth is host to over 700 known bacteria; some beneficial, and some harmful. The harmful bacteria, already residing in inflamed, bleeding gums, find their way into the bloodstream where they can initiate a blood clot. People with gum disease are three times as likely to die from a stroke. Research has linked the chronic inflammation from gum disease to heart disease and a two-fold increase in dying from a heart attack.
People with diabetes are more likely to develop and have a more severe form of gum disease. The chronic infection can increase a diabetic’s blood sugar, making blood sugar control more difficult. Recent studies have linked gum disease with bacterial pneumonia and the risk of a pregnant woman giving birth to a pre-term or low-birth-weight baby.
Preventing gum disease is the best thing you can do for your mouth AND your body!
Here is how it’s done:
- Brush your teeth twice a day
- Floss between your teeth once a day
- Use a WaterFlosser daily
- Schedule regular dental check-ups
- Eat a balanced diet that is low in sugar and simple carbohydrates
- If you use tobacco products, stop
If you notice any of the following symptoms, see your dentist or periodontist ASAP:
- Gums that bleed when brushing or flossing
- Swollen, tender, or red gums
- Gums that have pulled away from your teeth
- Persistent bad breath
- Loose or separating teeth
Your mouth is a window to the health of your body. Taking charge of your oral health will help maintain your overall health. If you would like to be screened for gum disease, please see your dental professional or call my office for a consultation.
Your partner in health,
Dr. Kip Saunders