The links of dental health to overall well-being
Guittard & Sierra Family Dentistry in Atascadero is happy to be an essential service and continue to serve SLO County’s oral health needs in the midst of the challenging COVID-19 crisis.
We want to take this opportunity to remind the community of the important link between a healthy mouth and overall health. Also, the dentist’s office is and always has been safe and healthy, and Guittard & Sierra has taken important additional steps to keep our patients and team safe from Coronavirus. In fact, less than 1% of dentists nationwide were estimated to have tested positive for COVID-19 as of June of this year, according to the American Dental Association.
Oral health links to overall health
Oral health, in fact, offers clues about your overall health — or that problems in your mouth can affect the rest of your body.
So, what is the connection between oral health and overall health?
Your mouth teems with bacteria – mostly harmless – but it also is the entry point to your digestive and respiratory tracts. And some of these bacteria can cause disease.
Normally, the body’s natural defenses and good oral health care, such as daily brushing and flossing, keep bacteria under control. However, without proper oral hygiene, bacteria can reach levels that might lead to oral infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease.
What conditions can be linked to oral health?
Poor oral health can contribute to various diseases and conditions, including:
Endocarditis. This infection of the inner lining of your heart chambers or valves (endocardium) typically occurs when bacteria or other germs from another part of your body, such as your mouth, spread through your bloodstream and attach to certain areas in your heart.
Cardiovascular disease. Although the connection is not fully understood, some research suggests that heart disease, clogged arteries and stroke might be linked to the inflammation and infections that oral bacteria can cause.
Pregnancy and birth complications. Periodontitis has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight.
Pneumonia. Certain bacteria in your mouth can be pulled into your lungs, causing pneumonia and other respiratory diseases.
How can I protect my oral health?
To protect your oral health, practice good oral hygiene daily. Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled brush using fluoride toothpaste.
Use mouthwash to remove food particles left after brushing and flossing.
Eat a healthy diet and limit food with added sugars.
Replace your toothbrush every three months or sooner if bristles are splayed or worn.
Schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings.
Avoid tobacco use.