Many people say the eyes are the window to the soul, but to your dentist, your mouth can be the window to your overall health. Your oral health is linked to your overall health and each may help you and your dentist uncover underlying health problems. Gum disease is linked to systemic health problems, but other diseases can show symptoms in the mouth as well.
Understanding this connection between your body and your oral health will empower you to take control of your health. Ridgetop Dental is your Reston, VA dentist office offering comprehensive, health-centered dental care to patients of all ages. Learn more about this critical link between your health and your mouth.
Oral Bacteria Linked To Major Health Problems
Our bodies are a habitat for an entire ecosystem of microscopic living organisms, both on our skin and in the body. Many bacteria live in our nose and mouth and are mostly harmless. This is why regular brushing and flossing is so important, because over time, bacteria can build up and cause gum disease.
Gum disease leads to tooth decay, but it is also linked to health problems such as psoriasis, Alzheimer’s disease, erectile dysfunction, rheumatoid arthritis, and heart disease and stroke.
Cardiac Problems Linked to Oral Health
Poor oral health has been linked to endocarditis, which is when an infection from one part of the body spreads to the lining of the heart through the bloodstream. The bacteria from an infected tooth can travel to the heart, compromising the heart muscles. There is also evidence to suggest an increased risk of heart disease, clogged arteries, and stroke is linked to the bacteria from oral health problems.
Oral Health and Overall Health
Many systemic health problems reveal themselves in the mouth through symptoms. For example, gum disease is more prevalent in people with uncontrolled diabetes. Lesions in the mouth can indicate autoimmune diseases, lost teeth can indicate a weakening of the bones and development of osteoporosis, and declining oral health is common at the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Unusual symptoms in the mouth can indicate an underlying health problem, so it’s important to visit your dentist if you notice anything new.
Prevent Illness with Good Oral Hygiene
Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day will remove the bacteria that build up throughout the day and prevent gum disease. Good oral hygiene also includes regular visits to your dentist, especially if you detect anything out of the ordinary.
Visit Ridgetop Dental in Reston, VA to keep track of your oral health. Schedule an appointment online or call (571) 313-7010 today.