You’ve heard it said frequently that it’s important to brush your teeth and keep your mouth healthy. But having good oral health is more important than you may realize. Dr. Brenda Paulen of Proud Smiles Dental, a dentist in Sandy Springs, GA, discusses why your oral health is so crucial.
The Mouth-Body Connection
Your mouth is actually a portal to your overall health. The mouth is the entryway to both your digestive and respiratory systems, and the mouth is also teeming with bacteria. If you aren’t keeping up with dental cleanings and a good oral health routine, your mouth becomes vulnerable. Bacteria can cause tooth decay or gum disease, and a cut in the mouth or bleeding gums due to inflammation introduces that bacteria to the bloodstream.
Certain medications can impact how much saliva is in your mouth as well. Saliva is crucial to wash food away from your teeth and to neutralize the acids that are released by bacteria. If you aren’t keeping up with your oral health and have a lessened amount of saliva, you’re more likely to end up with an infection that could spread to the rest of your body.
Impacting Test Results
The COVID-19 pandemic is still raging in the United States. How does this tie in with your oral health? A study recently published in Special Care in Dentistry indicates that poor oral health can impact the accuracy of your COVID-19 test results. For those that didn’t take care of their oral health, they got more positive test results.
This is because they continue to shed the viral cells longer than those that take care of the oral cavity. If you don’t take care of your teeth, it can lead to the noninfectious viral nucleic acid to build up in the mouth. It leads to prolonged viral shedding. Even though it’s noninfectious, you’ll still test positive when you get a COVID-19 test. This can be a problem if you need to test negative for work or a medical procedure.
Conditions Linked to Oral Health
There are many medical conditions that you’re at a higher risk of when you don’t have good oral hygiene. One of the biggest worries is cardiovascular disease. While the connection isn’t completely understood yet, research suggests that various heart problems can be connected to the inflammation and infections from oral bacteria. These include heart disease, stroke, and clogged arteries.
Endocarditis is an infection of the inner lining of your heart chambers or valves. This is most commonly caused by bacteria that enter another area of the body, particularly your mouth. Periodontitis is also linked to pneumonia and having a premature baby or low birth weight if you’re pregnant.
Oral Checkups at Your Sandy Springs, Georgia Dentist
One of the best things you can do for your oral health is to visit your dentist regularly. This allows Dr. Paulen to catch oral health problems early. Call us or schedule an appointment online today.