How is my oral health connected to my overall health and wellbeing?

A woman flossing her teeth

Read time: 3 mins

Good oral health is crucial to maintaining the health of your entire body. A regular oral health routine, including brushing and flossing, not only keeps your smile healthy but can also improve total body health and your quality of life.

At Pennant Hills Dental Centre we are strong advocates about educating our patients on the multiple benefits of good oral health to ensure their teeth last a lifetime; after all, prevention I always better than a cure. Below are 5 benefits of good oral health that go beyond white teeth and fresh breath!

Your mouth is the gateway to your body

Longitudinal research has confirmed that poor oral health can lead to serious oral health concerns such as gum disease, specifically periodontal (gum) disease, as a result of built-up bacteria on your teeth and gums. Periodontitis (gum disease – see periodontal therapy cause infection and inflammation within the mouth, which can attack other parts of your body through the bloodstream. Since inflammation is a major risk factor for heart disease, people with periodontal disease run a greater risk of having a fatal heart attack than people without periodontal disease. Remember, a healthy smile means a healthy heart!

Healthy teeth… healthy pregnancy

During pregnancy, your body will go through a wave of hormones that can change the condition of your oral and overall health. Hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can make you more susceptible to certain oral health conditions, such as periodontal disease. Further to that research has shown infection and inflammation from periodontal disease in the mouth may affect the health of the pregnant uterus leading to low birth-weight and premature contractions of the uterus and consequently preterm births. If you are pregnant, it is important to visit use for regular check-ups to give your new born the best start in life.

Trying to lose weight? Start with a healthy smile!

Apart from the obvious link that reducing sugary foods will be both be good for your waistline and reduce your risk of dental decay. We can also modify the ‘way’ we eat in order to help us lose weight.

Most of us can agree that not much tastes good right after brushing with minty toothpaste. Don’t wait until bedtime to brush; brushing your teeth straight after dinner can help you thwart late-night snacking. This psychological trick signals to your brain that you have finished eating, so use it to your advantage – have a healthy meal and then, before you’re tempted to overeat or indulge in sweet desserts, go and brush your teeth.

Better quality of life

The implications of oral health for our total wellbeing are not only physical, influencing how we grow, how we look, how we speak, chew and taste food, but also psychological, influencing how we socialise, our social wellbeing and how much enjoyment we get out of life.

And that’s not all folks… the list goes on.

At this stage are large number of studies have shown that cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and complications of diabetes, respiratory infections, stroke and adverse pregnancy outcomes are significantly associated with tooth loss and periodontal disease. For this reason here at Pennant Hills Dental Centre we are passionate about protecting natural teeth from decay and periodontal disease, with a strong focus on early detection and prevention.

For more information, see the article ‘Links between oral health and general health’ by Dental Health Services Victoria.

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