Close up of woman's mouth with purple lipstick

You may know that your oral health is important, but what you don’t know is that it’s important to the rest of your body, too. Not only can your mouth clue doctors in to what’s going on in the rest of your body, but mouth health can impact body health. Here’s how your mouth, gums, and teeth impact the rest of your health.

Overview

Health professionals now know that oral health and general health are connected. Doctors can now connect oral health to overall health issues, including respiratory issues and heart disease. The mouth is a sort of gateway to the body, and it should be protected in order to keep your mouth and body healthy. By diagnosis issues early, certain treatments, like PRP treatment, can possibly be used.

Cardiovascular Disease

It’s possible that the mouth can be used to determine if a person has cardiovascular disease. Some professionals believe that infections or inflammation in the mouth can point to clogged arteries, heart disease, or stroke. The infection or inflammation that may cause cardiovascular disease can be caused by too much bacteria in the mouth.

Diabetes

People with gum disease may have a difficult time when it comes to their blood-sugar levels. When the mouth and gums aren’t healthy, they can’t resist infection as well as possible. It’s common for people who have diabetes to also have periodontitis.

Endocarditis

Endocarditis, an infection of the endocardium, the heart’s inner lining, happens when germs or bacteria from your mouth or another part of the bodypr seads via the bloodstream. This is why it’s so important to care for your mouth.

Diagnosis Made Through the Saliva

It’s not uncommon for your primary doctor to test your saliva, which can point to a host of issues, including the following:

Cancer:

There are certain markers of cancer that can be seen in the saliva, which can help to diagnose cancer in its early stages.

Drugs:

Saliva testing is commonly used to tell if illegal drugs have been recently used.

Infection:

If specific hormones or antibodies are present in the saliva, your doctor will be able to tell if you have an infection, including Hepatitis or HIV.

Osteoporosis:

If you feel that you’re at risk for osteoporosis, your saliva can used to tell if there are bone-specific proteins present in the body.

Stress:

Saliva can tell the doctor what your cortisol levels are, which can then be used to figure out your stress level. This is often used in newborns.

Saliva testing is always advancing, and in the future it may be used to diagnose even more and more serious health issues.

Practicing Good Oral Health

There are a few tried-and-true ways to take care of your oral health and ward off related health issues:

  • Stay away from acidic drinks, like soda and coffee. The acid in these drinks can damage the tooth enamel, which means your teeth will be at risk for things like decay or erosion. If you have too many acidic drinks, your pH system can also be affected, which could cause additional health problems.
  • Limit sugar. Too much sugar can cause cavities, and it can also promote diabetes or lead to high blood pressure.
  • Follow a routine for maintaining your oral health. It’s best to brush, floss, and rinse your teeth two times a day. This will keep bacteria away from your gums and teeth, and prevent tooth decay and infection. You should also stick to a regular checkup and cleaning schedule with your dentist, who will also conduct exams to make sure your mouth is healthy.

By learning how oral health is connected to the rest of your body, you can protect yourself moving forward.

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About The Author

Jade Pulman's picture

Jade is a full-time mother of three children she adores. She graduated with her bachelors degree in Family Studies and Nutrition and works hard to implement her learning into her family life. When not writing, you can find her in the outdoors or exploring museums and aquariums with her loving husband and children. 

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