While you may not realize it, your oral health is much more important than you may think. The health of your mouth is crucial to the health of your overall body. This is called the mouth-body connection. Dr. Raj Updaya of the Metropolitan Center for Complete Dentistry, a cosmetic dentist in New Jersey, discusses this connection and how keeping up with your oral care can help you out during flu season and beyond.
The Importance of the Mouth
The mouth can be called the window or the gateway to the rest of the body. Many diseases and conditions have indicators in the mouth, making regular dental checkups important. Your dentist may be able to tell that you have signs of a certain disease before anyone else.
It’s not just looking inside the mouth that can be helpful either. Your saliva can be swabbed and tested for a variety of different things that may not have visible oral symptoms. Dentists can also find conditions sooner rather than later by catching signs that reside in your mouth. This gives you a better chance of getting treatment on time and reversing the condition.
The Mouth-Body Connection
The reason oral health is so important is how it connects to the rest of your body. Tons of bacteria reside in your mouth. If you have bleeding gums from gum disease or a cut in your mouth, bacteria can enter the bloodstream. This is why washing your hands and avoiding touching your face during flu season is so important. Particularly if you have a weak immune system, oral bacteria can get in the bloodstream and cause infections in other parts of the body.
In addition, having gum disease can increase your chances of developing other, dangerous conditions throughout the body. Gum disease and poor oral health can increase your chances of things like diabetes, stroke, heart attacks, and heart disease. The increased risk can be prevented by brushing and flossing regularly, as well as visiting your dentist for bi-annual checkups.
Risk Factors for Oral Health
Certain things can be extra detrimental to your oral health. This puts you more at risk for infections, both oral and throughout your body. Having a poor diet increases your risk for tooth decay, as well as the heart problems that can also come along with gum disease. Tobacco and alcohol consumption makes you more likely to develop oral cancer, gum disease, and many other problems.
Poor hygiene is, of course, another risk factor, as is injury or trauma to your mouth. Having poor hygiene and the start of gum disease also makes you more susceptible to injury. You’re more likely to get cuts and open wounds in this state.
Lastly, stress can compromise your immune system. When our body is in a stress response, it’s more difficult to fight off bacteria and infections. They’re more likely to make their way into your bloodstream and stay there, instead of your body being able to take them on.
Oral Health With Your New Jersey Cosmetic Dentist
Dr. Updaya and the rest of the experienced staff at the Metropolitan Center for Complete Dentistry are trained to make sure your oral health stays on track. Call us today or schedule an appointment online to get a checkup!