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Link Between Oral Health and Overall Health

There’s a common saying in the dental industry: “healthy mouth, healthy body.” Many people don’t realize just how connected oral health is to overall health. That’s why it’s so important to keep up with your regular dental visits! Here are some of the main ways that oral health and overall health are linked:

Importance of Saliva

Saliva doesn’t just prevent you from having a dry mouth, it actually has cleaning properties too! It washes away food from your teeth and gums, and it neutralizes acids from bacteria. It’s basically a defense mechanism that fights against disease-causing bacteria and viruses. Way to go, saliva!

Signs of Systemic Disease

Looking into what’s going on with your mouth is often a good indicator of what’s going on with the rest of your body. A majority of systemic diseases — a whooping 90% in fact — show themselves as oral symptoms. For example, mouth lesions could signal HIV, bone loss in the jaw might mean osteoporosis, and dry mouth or bad breath are often signs of kidney disease.

Effect of Gum Disease

With gum disease, the bacteria may start in your gums, but it doesn’t always stay there. When left untreated, that bacteria can enter your bloodstream or travel to other tissues and cause concerns elsewhere in your body. Cardiovascular disease, respiratory infections, diabetes, and premature birth/low birth weight have all shown connections to gum disease.

While there’s always more research to be done, it’s pretty apparent that taking care of your oral health is an essential part of taking care of your overall health. You probably make time to visit your general doctor for an annual check-up so don’t forget to keep up with your trips to the dentist’s office, too. At Stratman Family Dentistry, it’s our job to make sure our patients have healthy mouths and bright smiles. Contact us to plan a visit!