The Connection Between Oral Health and Overall Wellbeing

The Connection Between Oral Health and Overall Wellbeing
We know brushing and flossing help prevent painful cavities and costly dental work. But did you realize that good oral hygiene also impacts your whole body’s health? You might be surprised that the benefits of maintaining good dental health extend beyond your mouth.In fact, oral health—the health of your teeth and gums—significantly impacts overall health, medical costs, and quality of life, as there are meaningful connections between your mouth and the rest of your systems. Neglecting your teeth and gums can contribute to various diseases and chronic conditions over time. It has been determined that oral health is one of the primary indicators of overall health, such as access to healthcare and daily nutrition. Good oral health enables you to perform everyday tasks, such as speaking, smiling, smelling, and eating, and it is also essential for communication, human relationships, and financial prosperity. Poor dental health has serious consequences, including painful, disabling, and costly health conditions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated anywhere from 47% to nearly 75% (depending on the population studied ), of people aged 30 years and older in the United States have some form of periodontal disease. In its early stages, called gingivitis, the gums may become swollen, red, or tender and bleed easily. If left untreated, gingivitis may escalate to periodontitis. At this stage, bacteria and toxic byproducts can move from the surface of the gums and teeth and into the bloodstream, where they can spread to different organs. Below are four ways oral health can affect our overall health: Gum Disease and Heart Disease Inflammation from gingivitis or periodontitis allows bacteria into the bloodstream, where it can cause arterial damage and raise the risk of heart attack and stroke. Oral Bacteria Linked to Respiratory Diseases Bacteria accumulate in the mouth and throat and can be inhaled into the lungs. This contributes to infection, inflammation, and aggravated respiratory conditions like pneumonia, bronchitis, and COPD. Oral Health Indicates Diabetes Risk Those with poor blood sugar control are more prone to gingivitis and other oral infections. The relationship goes both ways, as excess oral bacteria also negatively affect glycemic control. Nutrition Suffers Without Healthy Teeth Missing, damaged, or painful teeth make eating fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods hard. This can lead to nutritional deficits and weight loss over time. Be sure to address tooth pain and dental appliance issues that impact your ability to chew. Don’t wait until you have a crisis to see a dentist. Routine cleanings, early cavity detection, and daily flossing and brushing promote systemic health. Take care of your mouth to allow your whole body to thrive. For over twenty years, Dr. Lichtenstein has provided attentive and compassionate care while ensuring the best results for his patient’s oral health. Additionally, his team has extensive experience with the most unique cases to ensure that even patients facing other obstacles get the dental care they need. Dr. Lichtenstein’s office is in Holmdel, NJ, adjacent to Bayshore Hospital Phone: (732) 739-3337 EMAIL: leemlichtenstein@gmail.com ADDRESS: 723 North Beers Street, Suite 1A Garden State Medical Arts Plaza Holmdel, NJ 07733

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