Why is oral health important?

What would we do without our mouth? We eat and talk with them, even breathe with them. They play a vital role in our ability to live and communicate. Why then do some people neglect their teeth and mouths? Lack of good oral care doesn’t just cause bad breath.  There are a variety of unpleasant conditions that can come about if the mouth is not cared for properly.

Let’s talk about oral health. Not something you think of or concern yourself with every day – but nonetheless, something to consider.  Not only does your oral health give you clues about your overall health, but also, oral problems can and do have an affect on your entire body.  How you chew and swallow your food even effects the amount of nutrients you absorb  (can you hear Mom saying, “Chew your food!” ?)

First let’s consider the high amount of bacteria present in your mouth. Your mouth is loaded with bacteria but the majority of it is not harmful at all. Your body’s own natural defenses, combined with good oral care (daily brushing and flossing) combine to keep bacteria from causing a problem. But without proper oral care, your mouth could develop tooth decay, root/nerve decay,  gum disease,  and oral infections. Periodontis is the term for severe gum disease that is painful and makes eating difficult. Periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss.

That all sounds pretty undesirable, right? That’s why your mom always told you to “brush your teeth!” If you develop an oral condition like any of those listed above, and you also have an illness that lowers your body’s immunity (like HIV or diabetes), your oral  condition will be worse/ more intense. Especially if you or someone you know has diabetes, you should take good care of your mouth. Gum disease is more common and more advanced/severe in people with diabetes.

Here’s another startling fact – germs and bacteria from your mouth can spread through your bloodstream and end up elsewhere. Endocarditis is an infection of the inner lining of your heart that typically develops from these types of traveling germs.

There are several other health conditions that have been linked to oral conditions. These include Osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and Cardiovascular disease. We know that everything in our bodies are connected. We are a walking, talking, highly complex system – and taking the best care possible of every aspect of that system is our best chance for maintaining good health.

Always tell your Dentist or Endodontist if you are experiencing any mouth symptoms at all – from dry mouth to painful bums to small sores on the tongue or cheek lining. Nothing is too small to point out – because you may be nipping a bigger problem in the bud!

Your dental professionals at Fifth Avenue Endodontics are happy to give you a guide to oral care, or answer any questions you have about oral health.