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How your dental health affects your overall well being

checking lymph nodes

It’s common knowledge that good oral hygiene practices are vital for taking care of our teeth and gums. But what you may not know is that they’re also vital for taking good care of the rest of your body, too! You see, your oral health is closely linked with the rest of your overall wellbeing, so keeping on top of your brushing and flossing can also help you protect yourself against health conditions that be particular problems later in life, such as heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

At AP Smilecare, one of our main principles when caring for our patients is to highlight these links to you when you come into our Blackburn dental clinic. We make it our mission to provide you with the full picture of how everything is interconnected. Here, we explain a quick bit about how!

How does your oral health affect the rest of your body

The human mouth is home to a staggering amount of bacteria. While lots of it is harmless, there’s a minority that isn’t. Together, the mixture of this good and bad bacteria makes up what’s known as the oral microbiome.

Now, we don’t need to tell you that daily brushing and flossing are the best ways to keep the bad bacteria in your oral microbiome under control. Without this attention to oral hygiene, the bad pathogenic bacteria can build up to harmful levels. If left unchecked for long enough, they can start to cause infections which lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

We’ve explained everything you need to know about gum disease on the blog before, but the main thing to remember here is that it’s an infection of tissues that support the teeth. Typically, this leads to intense gum inflammation or even tooth loss. Here’s where even more problems can arise, as this bacteria can then get into the bloodstream, and start to spread throughout the rest of the body. Eventually, it may even cause damage to blood vessels in the heart and brain.

tooth pain

Health conditions linked to gum disease

In addition to damaging oral health, gum disease has been linked to several specific problems over the years, and may cause the onset or worsening of:

  • Heart disease and heart attacks
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Pneumonia

In the words of the Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter, the link between oral health and overall body health is well documented. But he also says: “only about 1 in 6 people realise that people with gum disease may have an increased risk of stroke or diabetes. And only 1 in 3 are aware of the heart disease link.

What we do at AP Smilecare

As you might expect, all these are great reasons why we take your oral health very seriously at AP Smilecare! Since it all links together so closely, there are lots of clues that your mouth can give us that can help us to piece together and overview of your health and wellbeing. When we assess your oral health, we’ll highlight how it could affect (or be affected by) your overall health and lifestyle, and make our recommendations accordingly. This way, you can be sure of getting the best out of a bespoke treatment plan that’s specifically tailored to you!

If you want more information, or to book an appointment at our Blackburn dental clinic, just give us a call on 01254 270 000. The Covid-19 pandemic is still ongoing at the time of writing, so don’t hesitate to take advantage of our brand new Remote Appointment service!

Posted on: 27th May, 2020