How to improve oral health: Link between oral health and the body

At Bite Dental, we get this question a lot: “How do you improve your oral health?” We all know the best oral hygiene tips – brush and floss daily, and don’t forget your regular dental check-ups. These practices can prevent bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease. 

However, there is a greater link between your oral health and your body as a whole. A healthy mouth may also be able to help you prevent medical disorders! On the reverse, an unhealthy mouth can increase your risk of serious health problems. It is therefore we work to improve our oral health.

Your mouth is the source

If you don’t maintain strong oral hygiene and mouth health, plaque can build up along your gum line. This creates a climate for additional bacteria to accumulate in the space between your gums and teeth – known as gingivitis. Left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis and trench mouth.

If you have a healthy immune system, should this bacteria enter your bloodstream you will not experience any issues. However, if you possess a weakened immune system oral bacteria in your bloodstream can cause you to develop an infection in another location or your body.

Oral Health and Diabetes

A long-term study conducted at Columbia University found that people with gum disease were more than twice as likely to develop diabetes than people with healthy gums.

On the flip side, one in every two diabetics will develop gum disease^. The presence of this infection makes it difficult to control blood glucose levels, thus making control of diabetes more difficult. 

Therefore, good oral hygiene and dental care, which help to prevent infections and gum disease, will also help to control diabetes. If you have gum disease, you need to follow a treatment plan that will correct this. If you are a diabetic, you need to take very good care of your oral health.

Oral Health and Heart Disease

Like diabetes, gum disease and health disease often go hand in hand. These two conditions share several risk factors including smoking, bad diet and excess weight. It has also been hypothesised that periodontitis can directly cause Heart Disease, through oral inflammation causing inflammation in the blood vessels. 

Oral Health and Pregnancy

You may be wondering why all this concern over teeth and gums, at a time when you just want to focus on bringing the new baby into the world.  However, just as your dental health affects other aspects of your life, it can affect your baby, too.  

Studies have shown that pregnant women with periodontal or gum disease have a greater risk of giving birth to  a premature, low birth weight baby.  If the gum disease worsens during pregnancy, the risk increases.  

The mechanism for this is not completely understood, but research suggests that the infected, inflamed gums spur the body to produce biological fluids that trigger labor.  For these reasons, we recommend working with your dentist to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy.

This information provides just another reason for you to improve your oral health and maintain a strong oral hygiene routine. It is imperative that you maintain a good brushing and flossing routine, and visit us every 6-months for a check-up and clean.

Tips for health teeth and gums

The below tips will help you to maintain good oral hygiene in between check-ups, to reduce the risk of bodily infection.

  • Brushing twice a day – Please brush in a circular motion towards the gum using a soft bristled toothbrush, and remember to not brush too aggressive.
  • Fluoride toothpaste – Fluoride is crucial in protecting your teeth, as it helps strengthen enamel to protect from acid attacks. So if you are able to get fluoride toothpaste during this time, we recommend you do so.
  • Flossing is key
  • Clean your tongue – This can be done either using a tongue cleaner or your toothbrush.
  • Mouthwash – Using a mouthwash will help kill bacteria and leave your mouth feeling fresh.
  • Rinsing with water – This is also recommended throughout the day to swish sugars and acids away. 

Right now, we are offering new patients a full check-up for $99. This involves a consultation with a dentist, a full check-up exam, and any necessary x-rays. You will be able to improve your oral health at your favourite dentist in Brisbane City.

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