Mouth Body Connection
It is easy to forget just how interconnected our bodies are. What happens in one part of our body can have a major influence on what happens elsewhere, even if it seems counterintuitive. Gum disease is one prominent example, as studies have found that it can exacerbate and even cause conditions that have nothing to do with the gums or mouth, such as cardiac problems and diabetes. Florida Smiles Dental believes that by preventing and eliminating gum disease, we can improve the health of your whole body.
How Bacteria Spread
Our mouths are exposed to legions of bacteria every single day. We need to eat and drink to survive, but this opens the mouth to a lot of risk as it is flooded with bacteria - bacteria that do not just stay in our mouths. If you brush and floss like the American Dental Association recommends then this is not a problem because bacteria are not given the chance to multiply. But without brushing and flossing the number bacteria will keep growing, and eventually enter the bloodstream. Your body senses these dangerous bacteria and tries to eliminate them via an immune response that creates cascades of chemicals, causing various diseases.
There is a lot that we are still learning about the relationship between gum disease and cardiac problems such as stroke and heart disease. While we do not always understand all of the factors at play, it is undeniable that there is a strong positive correlation. The current understanding is that when bacteria get into the blood they start to pile up and congest your arteries. The more bacteria, the more likely you are to develop a clot or suffer from a stroke. Because heart disease is the number one cause of death among Americans the connection between your mouth and your heart should not be taken lightly.
The link between diabetes and gum disease is a strong one. Even worse, gum disease and diabetes have an almost symbiotic relationship. As bacteria enter through your mouth and spread inflammation, this makes it harder for the body to modulate its blood sugar levels. In turn, the high levels of glucose (sugar) are like a feast for bacteria, causing them to multiply even faster. This amplifying feedback effect can be devastating, and so patients with diabetes are strongly urged to take extra precautions with their oral health.
How to Protect Your Whole Body
While there is still a lot that we are learning about the mouth body connection and how gum disease can influence other diseases, there is no doubt that by taking care of your mouth you can help take care of your whole body. The best way to do this is by following the American Dental Association’s guidelines on brushing and flossing, as well as coming in for your twice-yearly cleanings and check-ups. If you think you may have gum disease, eliminating it now with professional assistance before it gets worse can help lower your risk for other conditions.
We Protect More Than Just Your Mouth
Good oral health is also good overall health. To learn more about how Florida Smiles Dental can help both your mouth and body, call 754-354-0363 today.