How your oral health can affect your overall health
by Amelie Mahone
You may not realise it, but your oral health can have an impact on your whole body. Whether you look after your teeth, jaws, tongue, and lips can change how you feel overall. Watch out for these symptoms, which may spread across your body.
If you don't brush your teeth properly, you are likely to end up with gum disease. This is not a nice thing to have in your mouth in the first place, but the symptoms don't end there. The bacteria from your infections may spread, through your bloodstream or simply going down your throat. This can lead to serious complications like cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, strokes, dementia, and pneumonia. Shockingly, 91% of people with heart disease also have severe infections in their gums, known as periodontitis. If you have diabetes, it could also seriously inflame your symptoms. It's so important to brush your teeth at least twice a day, and incorporate mouthwash and dental floss into your daily routine as well.
Grinding your teeth, or bruxism, can happen subconsciously if you are under a lot of stress. It can particularly happen at night while you are asleep. When you wake up, you may have a sore jaw and neck, your teeth may ache, and you may even lose parts of your teeth through the grinding over a long period of time. This pain can also give you headaches and may affect other parts of your body through the pain in your spine. Wearing a mouthguard while you sleep may help to prevent this. If you still grind your teeth with the mouthguard on, you won't damage your teeth, and the lessened impact will reduce the pain in your jaw as well.
If you've ever had a persistent toothache, you know that it feels almost unbearable. There's no way to take your mouth off or put it to one side for a while, and the pain is interminable. It can have roots in more serious causes, such as gum disease, or it could be due to a wisdom tooth emerging or something similar. Whatever the cause, tooth pain can be a huge stressor - meaning, something that raises your stress levels. As we all know, high levels of stress can lead to ulcers, headaches, poor sleep and fatigue, a low immune system, high blood pressure, an increased risk of stroke and heart attack, and so on. You should always get your teeth looked at as soon as you feel pain for more than a day, to get the underlying issue resolved and clear away the discomfort.
Pregnant women may wish to pay special attention: there is strong evidence that suggests the health of a mother's mouth will have a big impact on the health of her unborn child. If you have gum disease or any infections in your mouth, you will be more at risk of premature or low birth weight delivery, lung disease, heart disease, or learning difficulties in your baby. It's worth getting a complete dental check-up as soon as you learn that you are pregnant. If you do have some infection in your gums, you may be able to reverse it and get everything shipshape to prevent the bacteria from affecting your baby.
It turns out that keeping your teeth healthy is incredibly important. If you start to lose teeth or see them turn black in your mouth, chances are that you also have a whole raft of other health problems which may shorten your life. This is so serious - so make sure you brush daily and protect your teeth.
About the author
Amelie Mahone is a loving wife and a mother of 3. She loves to read about history and write articles on various topics, such as: business, education, history, teaching. As a young mum, Amelie also likes to read about motivation and parenting.