Everyone knows you need to brush and floss your teeth if you want a white smile and fresh breath. It’s easy, as well, to see the link between a vibrant smile and self-esteem. Often, though, people don’t realize that your oral health affects your overall wellbeing. Developing good oral care habits not only keeps your mouth in tip-top shape, but it also protects your total body health.
On a daily basis, we are constantly exposed to bacteria. These microscopic organisms can be found on common surfaces and in the air. Usually, our skin serves as a good barrier, and our bodies fight off bacterial infections. However, our mouths are a different story.
The inside of our mouths contain millions of bacteria, which contribute to the development of plaque, a sticky, colorless substance that forms on teeth. If you don’t take good care of your teeth and gums, excessive plaque can develop, which can lead to gum inflammation and even periodontal disease. Another term for gum disease, periodontal disease can not only cause serious damage to your dental wellness, but also your overall health.
When your gums are healthy, the bacteria in your mouth stay put. Gum disease can give bacteria an entry way into your blood stream, allowing these germs to wreak havoc on your whole system. Current research has linked periodontal disease to serious health concerns such as osteoporosis, heart disease, risk of stroke, and diabetes complications. In addition, women who develop gum disease during pregnancy have an increased risk for premature birth or low-birth weight babies.