Oral health is a part of overall health

Oral health is a part of overall health
By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 8/25/2019 12:00:00 AM IST

 A regular dental check up can detect many systemic diseases in the body.

Studies and researches have proved that there is a link between your oral health and your overall health. One has to understand the importance of its connection to each other. It has been indicated that many systemic diseases have oral manifestations. Many of us are unaware of diseases that are developing within our body because we are not in the habit of undergoing a regular master health body check up. Therefore a routine dental check can lead to early diagnosis of a disease that you might be developing in your body. Studies have shown that more than 70% of all systemic diseases produce oral signs and symptoms. Apart from Oral cancer, a dentist can spot early warning signs in the mouth that can indicate diseases in the body. 

So, what does your mouth say about your health and what conditions are linked to oral health?

Heart Diseases:  It has been observed and studied that people with poor oral hygiene e.g. Gum diseases have higher rates of cardiovascular diseases. When your gums are sore and swollen it is because of the inflammation of the blood vessels which indicates an infection. This also means that the same thing is almost happening to blood vessels in the rest of the body, leading to raising the risk of a clot formation that could trigger or aggravate a heart attack.

Diabetes:  Systemic conditions like diabetes for example often first become noticeable as lesions or other symptoms in the mouth. A person who suffers from diabetes are more prone to several oral conditions like tooth decay, dry mouth and periodontal (gum) diseases. Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissue that supports the teeth. Symptoms such as loosening of teeth, bad breath, sore gums and bleeding of teeth are all symptoms of person indicating diabetes.

Pregnancy and birth complications: Periodontitis is a condition where there is inflammation of tissues around the teeth.  It has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight. It is always advisable to visit the dentist during early pregnancy. There are many complications that arise during pregnancy because of the changes in hormonal levels in the body and hence affect the oral health. One common symptom of gum inflammation is known as “Pregnancy gingivitis”. A thorough cleaning of the gums and teeth during the initial phase of pregnancy can prevent such conditions or complications. 

HIV/AIDS: Oral problem such as painful mucosal lesions are common with people who have HIV/AIDS. This can be easily detected along with general test associated with it.

Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bone becomes less dense and more likely to fracture. This bone weakening diseases has a major impact on the part of jawbone supporting the teeth. The loss of bone level in the jaw will lead to mobility of the teeth and in severe cases tooth loss. Women with this bone disease are three times more likely to experience tooth loss than those who do not suffer from it. 

Other conditions that might be linked to oral health are immune systemic disorders that cause dry mouth such as Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis and also eating disorders. When a person suffers from eating disorders, there is severe acid erosion of the teeth which eventually causes sensitivity of the teeth. Also not eating in time can cause acid reflux that eventually leads to erosion of the tooth enamel. This is often detected during a simple dental check-up routine.

A healthy mouth can surely ward off medical disorders. An unhealthy mouth especially gum diseases can increase the risk of serious health problems and complications. Oral health problem can cause more than just pain and agony. It can lead to difficulty in speaking, chewing and swallowing which will lead to the inability to digest your food and hence leading to poor digestion and overall general health problems.

How can one improve or maintain good oral hygiene? Simple Rules!

1. Brushing your teeth twice daily with soft bristles and using fluoride toothpaste.

2. Daily Flossing.

3. Daily use of mouthwash to remove food particles that is left after brushing and flossing.

4. Eating a healthy diet and limiting food with added sugar.

5. Replace tooth brush every 3 months.

6. Avoid use of tobacco in any form.

7. Scheduling regular dental Check-up and cleaning in 3 /6 months.

Your mouth is the entry point of many bacteria and to keep these bacteria from going into your body keeping a good oral hygiene is necessary. One must make sure that one maintains good oral hygiene and should be consistent in your routine dental check up.

Dr. Aola Imcha, Perfect Smile Dental Care & Implant Centre, Below Axis Bank, City Tower, Dimapur.


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