There is a direct link between your oral health and your overall health. They affect each other all the time. Conditions in the mouth can affect the rest of the body and vice versa. Although your mouth is full of bacteria and most of it is not harmful, the mouth is the natural entry point to both the digestive systems and the respiratory systems. If any of the harmful bacteria gets into those systems it could cause infection or disease.
Certain medications can have a lasting impact on oral health. Saliva is vital to keeping the level of bacteria in the mouth to normal levels and if the patient is taking certain medications it can stymie the production of saliva. Some of these mediations are decongestants, anti-depressants, and painkillers.
Why is Oral Health so Important?
If you are not maintaining a healthy oral hygiene practice and not brushing and flossing regularly, then bacteria can form plaque which can eventually turn into gum disease if not treated. Gum disease has been known to be linked to several serious health issues. One is endocarditis which is an infection in the lining of the heart. Cardiovascular disease is another one which involves clogged arteries and potential stroke. Pregnancy and birth complications are also caused by oral infections including premature birth and dangerous low baby weight. Pneumonia can be caused by bacteria in the mouth being drawn into the lungs. HIVAIDS can be made worse because with lowered immune systems, patients cannot fight off oral infections as readily as healthy patients. Osteoporosis is a disease which has to do with weakening bones. Gum disease is directly linked to this. Interestingly enough medications used to treat this disease can also cause damage to the jawbone. Alzheimer’s disease affects oral health as patients are unable to care for themselves.
Oral health is very important to the patient’s overall health and should be taken seriously. Please contact us with questions.