You are probably aware of the importance of taking good care of your teeth and gums to help prevent oral health problems such as tooth decay and gum disease, but many people do not know that poor oral health can lead to conditions that can impact the overall health of the body. Dr Tony Heilberg is committed to providing a better dental experience and the best dental health care ensuring excellent oral health for our patients now and into the future. Not only helping you avoid dental pain, good oral health and hygiene can also lower your risk of developing particular chronic diseases and improve your overall wellbeing.
The Link Between Oral Health and Certain Chronic Diseases
The most common oral diseases are tooth decay and gum disease (periodontal disease). People suffering from these severe oral conditions may find it difficult to chew and swallow which can mean their bodies may not be able to receive the nutrition needed for optimal health. While more studies are needed, some researchers have found possible links between mouth bacteria and inflammation from periodontitis and some systemic diseases and conditions. Several studies link chronic inflammation from periodontitis with the development of:
- Cardiovascular problems including heart disease, arterial blockages, heart attack and stroke
- Dementia and Alzheimers
- Respiratory problems including pneumonia and bronchitis
- Oral cancer
- Stomach Ulcers
The Mouth Is Often Considered a Window into the Health of the Body
It’s also important to note that just as your oral health can affect your general health, the reverse is also true. Diseases such as diabetes, blood cell disorders and immune deficiencies can lower the body’s resistance to infection, making periodontal diseases more severe. Often the mouth can show the first signs of nutritional deficiencies, general infection or illness in the form of mouth lesions, bad breath or other oral problems. Maintaining a high level of oral health will not only help to avoid the likelihood of developing chronic diseases but will help to control existing conditions and reduce the possibility of these conditions worsening or causing more severe dental issues.
Poor Oral Health Can Also Affect Your General Wellbeing
Not only can poor oral health affect your overall physical health, oral health problems and dental issues can also have a significant impact on mental health, self-esteem and social development. If severe oral issues affect your appearance or ability to speak normally, this can lead to a range of problems including reduced participation at school, at work or in social settings as well as having a detrimental impact on friendships and relationships.
How to Improve Your Oral Health
Good oral health is vital in allowing you to eat and talk comfortably, smile confidently and be free of dental pain. Taking better care of your oral health doesn’t have to be difficult, you can start making changes right away by improving your daily oral hygiene routine. For the best oral health, it is recommended you:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day, using fluoride toothpaste and brushing for two minutes
- Floss and use other interdental mechanical aids (if needed) once a day to clean between your teeth, reduce plaque, and help lower inflammation
- Drink water throughout the day – water is the best drink for overall health, including oral health
- Eat a balanced diet that is lower in sugary, starchy and acidic food and beverages
- Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol intake
- Visit your dentist every 6 months for a check-up and clean
If you’re in need of a dental check-up or you want expert advice about improving your oral health, contact the friendly team at Dr Tony Heilberg Dentistry in Cheltenham today, trusted by Melbourne families since 1987, make an appointment by calling (03) 9583 2233 or request a consultation online now.