Education | Overall Health

How Your Mouth Effects Your Body

There is not enough emphasis put upon the importance of oral health. Oral hygiene has come a long way in the past 50 years, but it still has a long way to go. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that close to 80% of the adult American population has some form of gum disease. Gum disease occurs when bacteria irritates the gums and causes them to swell. In the beginning, the disease is called gingivitis and only affects the gums. Periodontitis is the more advanced phase where the bacteria go under the gum line attacking the tissues and bone around the teeth. This is what causes the gums to pull down and away from the teeth, or the old saying “long of tooth”. These conditions can eventually leads to tooth loss.

Every month more research is released linking the mouth to conditions in the rest of the body. Some research has shown that various types of cardiovascular disease may be linked to poor oral health, including heart disease, clogged arteries and stroke. There have been several links between gum disease and premature and low birth weight births. It is essential to keep up on your oral hygiene before and during your pregnancy. Diabetes increases your risks of having oral complications such as dry mouth and gum disease. Unfortunately having gum disease and oral infections may cause your blood sugar to rise and make it harder to regulate your blood sugar. With all of these possible systemic relationships, it is important to maintain your oral health.

Not only does your mouth directly effect the rest of your body; some conditions may make their presence known in your mouth before you notice any other symptoms. Some of these conditions are certain cancers, eating disorders, syphilis, HIV/AIDS, Sjogren’s syndrome, gonorrhea, and substance abuse.