Your dental health and your overall health are closely intertwined, just like many of the other systems within your body. When your oral health is in good shape, it will not negatively impact the rest of your body and a healthy body can support good oral health. But if you have certain types of disease such as diabetes or are taking certain types of medications, it can wreak havoc in your mouth that needs special care and attention.
The same goes for poor oral health. If your gums and teeth are not healthy, bad bacteria can enter your bloodstream and contribute to the development of chronic disease such as Alzheimer’s, heart disease, stroke and even some cancers. It’s very important to keep your gums free of periodontal disease so that the bacteria caused by it is not able to enter your body and create these damaging diseases. By maintaining a healthy mouth and eating well to support the good bacteria in your body, you can help to stave off chronic illness.
Your oral health is also an important consideration for how you physically feel in your body. Jaw misalignment can cause reverberations throughout your body and lead to chronic pain, headaches, TMD, neck and spine problems and much more. It's critical to work with your dental team to correct any misalignments in your jawbones and to ensure any missing teeth are replaced with an appropriate alternative. By restoring and maintaining the alignment of your jawbones, you can avoid so many concerns that can deteriorate your body faster and lead to a whole host of worsening problems.
It’s also valuable to note that your overall health impacts your dental health too. If you have a disease such as diabetes, the additional sugar that may be present in your bloodstream can damage your teeth and cause weakened gums. Any type of acid reflux or concerns that cause regular vomiting can bring a significant amount of additional acid into your mouth leading to enamel erosion and decay.
Many medications can also weaken your teeth and gums, causing a variety of problems such as erosion, dry mouth, mouth sores and an overall increase in bacteria while your body is less able to handle the overabundance effectively.
A great dentist will get to know your entire health picture, not just your mouth. If you have any type of chronic disease, are pregnant, taking medications or have any concerns at all, be sure to share them with your dentist so they can help you work through them and mitigate any potential increase in risk to your teeth and gums.
Your dentist is also an important part of your overall health care team. They have a stake in what happens throughout your whole body. When they make recommendations to correct bite or alignment issues, it’s to help your whole body. When they work to reduce or eliminate decay and disease in your mouth, they are protecting your heart, lungs and overall health. When they suggest preventative steps in any area of your oral care, it is with your whole health in mind. A holistic approach to dental care should always be a criteria you evaluate your dentist on so that you get the best care possible!