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Importance of Oral Health

As we all know, every part of our body is interconnected with each other.
But the most obvious yet taken for granted part of our body that can affect our overall health is the mouth.
While many parts of our body are teeming with bacteria, the mouth surely is. Although these are good bacteria that help us fight diseases. Whether you like it or not, your oral health says a lot about your health in general. Learn all about the importance of oral health.
“The mouth is the gateway to your overall health”.  
But then without proper oral hygiene such as flossing and brushing , these bacteria can reach a level that can be more damaging to our health than being helpful. A large amount of bacteria in the mouth can lead to oral infections like gum disease and tooth decay.
Also, there are some medications that contribute to lesser saliva flow. These drugs or medications, such as decongestants,  painkillers, antihistamines, antidepressants and diuretics  reduce saliva. Saliva washes away the food that we eat and it neutralizes the acids brought about by these bacteria in our mouth.  Without these acids, there could be a mutiny of bacteria or a microbial invasion or an overgrowth of bacteria in your mouth that could lead to diseases.
A lot of study has suggested that oral bacteria and inflammation caused by periodontitis ( a form of a gum disease), could play a role in some other diseases. Additionally,  more serious diseases such as diabetes and AIDS/HIV can lower your body’s resistance to infection, thus,  oral problems can make it more severe.
The state of your oral health clearly affects your overall health. 
Now you may wonder, what are these diseases?Endocarditis

It is an infection of the inner lining of your heart (endocardium). It typically occurs when bacteria from another part of your body, like your mouth,  spread through your bloodstream and attach to damaged areas of your heart.

Cardiovascular disease
Research suggests that heart disease, clogged arteries and stroke might be linked to an inflammation and infection caused by bacteria in your mouth.
Pregnancy and birth 
Periodontitis, a gum disease has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight.
There are other certain conditions that are linked to oral health which includes eating disorders, head and neck cancer, rheumatoid arthritis  and Sjogren’s syndrome ,  an immune system disorder that causes dry mouth.
How can you protect or improve your oral health?
Practice good oral hygiene every day. You can do this by:
          Brushing your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Of course, using  an electric or sonic toothbrush can help a lot in preventing plaque build-up.
          Floss daily.
          Eating healthy.  Limit your in-between meal snacks and cut down on sugar.
          Replace your toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if bristles start to fray.
          Don’t forget to schedule your regular dental check-ups and cleaning.
          Avoid smoking or using tobacco.
          Use the right oral care products .
Take care of your oral health . Invest in your overall health.  I can recommend a few products that I recommended to my patients, families and friends.
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Photo: Unsplash – @kalvisuals