What is Oral Health?
….and the impact of it on our overall health
While you may think that looking after your mouth and teeth only has a bearing on your smile, in fact, it’s got more of an impact on your body than you think! In fact, there is a reason our oral health has such importance, mainly because of bacteria. And if you don’t undertake a proper oral hygiene routine, you are very likely making these problems worse. So how should we best look after our mouth, so we can look after our body?
• Use the mouth as a window to your health
Lots of aspects of your mouth are a window into your general health. This is why a swab of saliva can tell a medical professional so much about the inner workings of your body. In fact, diseases like diabetes or AIDS are first detected as oral problems. This is why it’s so important to maintain an oral hygiene routine. During routine trips to the dentist, they will know exactly if you’ve been looking after your mouth and teeth.
Without brushing and flossing on a regular basis, plaque is going to build up, which will create an environment for bacteria to fester. This is commonly known as gingivitis, and then if left unchecked, this could develop into periodontitis. But you can prevent this by having an effective oral hygiene routine.
• Can you really floss your way to optimum health?
You might have heard before that if you floss regularly, you can cut back on bacteria entering your bloodstream, which can build up and contribute to cardiovascular disease and inflammation in the arteries. For most of us, if we have a healthy immune system, the bacteria wouldn’t be an issue, and the immune system will get rid of these bacteria. But it’s important to note, especially if you have a weakened immune system because of disease, the bacteria in your bloodstream could cause an infection in a different part of your body.
If you don’t look after your teeth properly, and if your mouth is prone to infections, especially gum infections, there may be a link between this and cardiovascular disease, but also diabetes, and could affect preterm birth, specifically increasing the risk of preterm delivery and giving birth to a baby of low weight. The biggest case has been for it as a major result of poor oral health is in cardiovascular disease, because of the plaque building up in the arteries, which can contribute to the likelihood of heart attack or stroke. As a result, the best practice of brushing your teeth as well as flossing will go some way towards maintaining some of your optimum health.
• The image of perfect teeth
The perfect body is something that is longed after by many people, as has been evidenced in many ways in the modern world, but what is rarely talked about is the perfect set of teeth and its relation to specific anxieties in people. Some studies have shown no correlation between a lack of teeth and mental illness, but, for some people, they cannot afford proper healthcare, and so are unable to get the other treatments they need, and this can have an impact on a frame of mind.
We can all remember back to school when someone had braces and how they may have been bullied for this, and while there are better options now, such as invisible braces, the idea of having something on our teeth, especially later in life, can make us feel very self-conscious about our overall appearance.
Lots of us ended up having braces when we were kids was because of a necessity to have certain teeth aligned, but also it was important to our overall mouth health. So for many children going through school, it was a necessary evil, although it didn’t feel good at the time. It seems that now, more people are going back in their 20s and 30s to get braces, purely because they don’t like the look of their teeth.
There are also many alternative remedies to mouth and teeth health now online, from oil pulling to brushing your teeth with activated charcoal powder. And it seems that now, the image of perfect teeth doesn’t just have an impact on our appearance, but it affects how we feel about ourselves.
Oral hygiene and the image of the perfect teeth are things that we are exposed to on a daily basis, but little do we realize the impact of it on our overall health. From our personal opinion of ourselves based on how our teeth look, all the way through to the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease, our mouth holds the key!
Take good care of your mouth and teeth!