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Oral Health And How It May Affect Other Areas Of Your Body

If you are trying to improve your overall health, you may be considering the care of your teeth and gums. The state of your oral health can directly impact the health of the rest of your body. 

Here is a bit of information about properly maintaining your oral health and how oral health is linked to other areas of your body.

Maintaining Your Oral Health

Many people brush and floss their teeth as directed by their dentist. However, they may not realize that brushing and flossing alone are not usually enough to avoid problems with your teeth and gums. Here are some additional measures that you can take:

  1. Rinse your mouth with water after you eat or drink. Water can help dilute or neutralize acids in the mouth that could demineralize the teeth and cause cavities. 
  2. Chew sugarless gum. Sugarless gum mechanically pulls plaque and bits of food from the teeth. Additionally, the act of chewing helps to incite the release of saliva. Like water, saliva rinses the mouth and helps to neutralize harmful acids.
  3. Avoid chewing on hard objects. Hard items, such as ice, fingernails, and pencils, are often chewed during times of stress. However, due to the hardness of the objects, chewing on them can break or chip the teeth. Once the enamel surface has been breached, bacteria may enter and cause an infection of the pulp that could lead to the death of the tooth.
  4. Wear a mouthguard. A mouthguard absorbs pressure that could damage the teeth. The guards should be worn during impact sports that could result in a blow to the mouth. Additionally, they should be worn at night by people who suffer from bruxism.

Areas of the Body That May Be Affected by Your Oral Health

Some parts of the body that are not in direct contact with the mouth may incur negative effects from poor oral health. Here are some of these parts:

  1. Brain. Bacteria that are associated with tooth decay have been found in the brains of people with Alzheimer's. The toxins and other chemicals produced by the oral bacteria may degrade the proteins of the brain.
  2. Heart. Oral bacteria may also travel to the bloodstream and produce toxins that inflame the blood vessels, leading to the development of heart disease and the formation of arterial plaques. 
  3. Erectile tissue. Erectile dysfunction has been linked to poor gum health.

To help ensure that your teeth and gums stay as healthy as possible, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.