Most people don’t realize the importance of oral health. However, any holistic dentist in Palm Beach Gardens will tell you that oral health offers clues about your overall health. For this reason, issues in your mouth can impact the rest of your body. If you want to protect yourself, it’s best to take a closer look at the connection between oral and general health.
The Connection Between the Mouth and Body
Did you know that your mouth teems with bacteria? Although oral bacteria are primarily harmless, disease-causing bacteria can enter your mouth and invade your digestive and respiratory tracts. Your body’s natural defenses can help keep bacteria under control. However, without regular brushing and flossing, bacteria can reach certain levels that might lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral infections.In addition, medications can also increase bacterial levels if they cause side effects that reduce salivary flow. Saliva helps protect you from harmful bacteria that lead to illnesses and diseases by washing away food particles and neutralizing acids that these bacteria produce in your mouth. Furthermore, research suggests that oral bacteria and the inflammation associated with gum disease might contribute to some medical conditions. For instance, HIV/AIDS and diabetes can make oral health issues more severe because these diseases can reduce the body’s ability to resist infection.
Conditions Linked to Oral Health
Studies show that clogged arteries, heart disease, and stroke might be connected to the inflammation and infections of periodontal disease.
Endocarditis is an infection of the heart chamber’s valves or inner lining. This condition usually occurs when harmful bacteria from one part of the body, such as the mouth, enter the bloodstream and attach themselves to specific areas in the heart.
Pneumonia is an acute respiratory condition that can occur when oral bacteria get pulled into the lungs. Someone who has pneumonia has pus and fluid in their lungs’ alveoli. Since the alveoli are tiny sacs that fill with air when a person breathes, pneumonia makes breathing painful, limiting oxygen intake.
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