The mouth-body connection is a new finding that is changing the way we view our oral health and making it front and center in terms of healthcare.
We are now discovering that what is going on in the mouth no longer exists on its own but is intimately connected with the health of the body. The mouth holds clues that were unrealized before now and may hold the key to understanding infection, inflammation and diseases.
Let us continue to look at what the mouth-body connection could mean for your health …
Oral Health and Heart Disease
At present the jury has not come back on whether oral health and heart disease are related in any way. However the American Heart Association has found through a number of research studies that poor oral health could increase your chances of developing heart disease. It is theorized that it is the bacteria, or the inflammatory response caused by the bacteria, that causes plaque buildup in blood vessels and inflammation to develop around the heart. Until a clear link can be established between heart health and oral health, your best protection is to brush and floss your teeth regularly and get professional cleanings at least twice a year.
Oral Health and Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a disease that weakens the bones over time and makes them less dense. This is related to a loss of the mineral calcium. Osteoporosis could also be the cause of tooth loss in some individuals. The jaw is a bone which holds the teeth in place. It can be as vulnerable to osteoporosis as can all of the other bones in the human body. If the jaw become weaker and less dense then the risk of losing teeth becomes that much greater.
If you already have been diagnosed with osteoporosis then you will want to be extremely conscientious when it comes to your daily ritual of brushing after every meal and flossing before bedtime. If you develop periodontal disease then this can add insult to injury and make a bad problem that much worse. You are already losing bone mass but the two diseases combined could put you in a higher risk category for losing teeth.
Women who suffer from osteoporosis are three times more likely to risk tooth loss than are those who do not have the disease. To help prevent getting this disease you should eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and take a calcium and vitamin D supplement.
Oral Health and Women’s Special Concerns
Due to hormonal ups and downs throughout their lives, women are particularly vulnerable to developing oral health problems in the form of gum disease and/or periodontal disease. High hormone levels in the body can cause inflammation in the gums that surround the teeth. Puberty, menstrual cycles, pregnancy and menopause can all cause hormones to increase to greater levels than normal. High hormone levels can cause females to be more sensitive to even a small percentage of bacteria or plaque on the teeth. That is why above average dental care is strongly recommended for all women.
At present a link between periodontal disease and being pregnant has been established that shows that this oral disease could put your unborn baby at risk. Maternal periodontal disease has been associated with preterm delivery and low birth weight.
Now that you understand the significance of the mouth-body connection your oral health should take on a whole new meaning. Open up now and see what it is telling you about the condition your body is in.