A Healthy Body and a Healthy Smile Go Hand-in-Hand

Posted by: Jason Hui, DDS, on August 14, 2013

Regular appointments with the dentist and a good oral hygiene routine certainly help to preserve your smile’s appearance. However, the bacteria found in plaque and tartar can have wide-reaching effects throughout your body, so good oral health is an essential element of good overall health.

One significant oral disease that has implications for other body systems is gum disease. Research has shown correlation between the inflammation associated with periodontal disease and other conditions like diabetes and heart disease.

On the other hand, some of those same conditions can make patients more susceptible to dental problems like gum disease. Specifically, patients with diabetes appear to face a higher risk of gum disease, as may those with suppressed immune function.

Keeping periodontal disease in check, therefore, is vital to your general health. This is why it’s so important to visit your dentist every six months. These regular check-ups give you access to thorough professional cleanings that remove any plaque and tartar that may have accumulated.

Medications for other health conditions can also have a negative impact on your oral health. Specifically, medications that have a side effect of dry mouth can create an environment welcoming to bacteria. When there is not enough saliva to clear away bacteria and food debris that they feed on, those bacteria may proliferate and cause decay and gum disease.

Keep in mind that a properly aligned, healthy smile is also more effective at processing a nutritious diet, which also has significant benefits for your health. Tooth loss can affect your ability to chew, especially crunchy fresh vegetables, which are full of valuable vitamins and minerals.

To keep both your body and your smile healthy, establish a good relationship with your dentist based on semiannual checkups and cleanings. Dedicate yourself to a daily oral hygiene routine as well. Be aware of the potential interactions between your oral health and any medical conditions that you might have. Taking these steps will help you stay healthy in every way.

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