Can Oral Health Affect Your Overall Well-Being?
We all know that proper oral hygiene is essential for that healthy, beautiful smile. When we think of oral hygiene or care, we think it’s only about maintaining your teeth or gums. However, here’s the thing – that’s not true. Your oral health and overall well-being are more connected than you might assume.
The truth is that it is impossible to view oral health as entirely separate from overall health. The two are intricately linked together, with each affecting the other. That’s why maintaining oral hygiene is super important. When you maintain good oral health, the benefits go beyond a healthy, beautiful smile. It will also improve your overall well-being and make way for a happier, healthier life. On the other hand, neglecting your oral health will result in severe consequences that go beyond toothaches and gum disease.
Let’s take a look at the connection between oral and overall health and the surprising ways in which oral health can impact your overall well-being.
Why Is Oral Hygiene Important?
If you’re wondering why oral hygiene is important, just think of your mouth as the gateway to your body. A dental problem that starts with your teeth and gums can significantly impact your overall well-being.
Like all other parts of the body, your mouth also contains harmful bacteria. This harmful bacteria in your mouth can travel to other parts of your body through the bloodstream and cause problems. For instance, a lack of proper oral hygiene can lead to bacteria accumulation and the development of tartar (hardened plaque). Left untreated, it can ultimately lead to gum disease, which has been linked to other health conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
This is why good oral hygiene matters. Oral hygiene practices like regular brushing, flossing and visits to the dentist will help identify dental problems before they worsen and keep harmful bacteria and overall health in check.
How Can Oral Health Impact Overall Well-Being?
Here are some ways in which your oral health is connected to your overall well-being.
Poor oral health, as mentioned before, can impact your overall health. While many tend to be unaware of the health conditions linked to oral health, studies have established a link between the two. Harmful bacteria in your mouth that cause gum disease can travel all over your body through the bloodstream, increasing your risk of medical conditions such as:
Healthy, functional teeth are essential to chew and break down food into digestible pieces. However, if you have damaged or missing teeth, it can affect your ability to eat food normally. At the same time, dental problems like gum disease and oral infections can also cause pain and sensitivity in your teeth, affecting the functionality of your teeth. You may then have to pick and choose what you eat, and as a result, you may not get the nutritious diet your body needs. And this can affect your overall health.
Headaches or Jaw Pain
If you experience chronic headaches or severe jaw pain, you should not ignore them. These could indicate underlying dental problems like TMJ Disorder or Bruxism.
TMJ Disorder, or Temporomandibular joint disorder, is a condition where your jaw joints stop functioning like they normally do. It can cause severe pain and make mundane tasks like eating and speaking challenging.
Chronic teeth grinding or Bruxism can put excessive pressure on your jaw joints, causing pain and discomfort. Both these conditions can lead to chronic headaches and jaw pain, affecting your well-being and daily life. Fortunately, we have dental appliances that may help you better manage these conditions.
Did you know that your oral health can also impact your sleep? It could be a result of pain and discomfort arising from toothaches and infections or as a result of sleep disorders such as sleep apnoea and snoring.
Sleep apnoea is when you experience interruptions or pauses in your breathing while asleep. Your oral health and dental anatomy can have an impact on sleep apnoea.
It happens when the walls of your throat collapse as you breathe, causing the airway to become partially or fully blocked. As a result, you are more likely to feel exhausted throughout the day, experience mood swings, and have difficulty concentrating. All of this can have a negative effect on your physical and mental well-being.
We may be able to help manage sleep apnoea with the aid of dental appliances that prevent your airways from getting blocked.
How to Practice Proper Oral Hygiene
It is evident that poor oral health can lead to dental and other health conditions that can affect your overall well-being. This is why you need to maintain good oral hygiene. Here are some oral hygiene practices we recommend to ensure good oral health:
-Brush your teeth twice and floss at least once daily
-Visit your dentist for routine dental check-ups and cleaning appointments every 6 months
-Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water
-Be mindful of your diet and avoid excessive consumption of sugary/acidic foods and beverages
-Avoid smoking and tobacco products
At Purity Dental, we understand the importance of the mouth-body connection or the oral-systemic link for oral and overall health. That is why we are committed to helping you achieve optimal oral and overall health. We offer a comprehensive range of dental solutions, from preventative dentistry to cosmetic dentistry, to help you improve your health and quality of life.
For more information about maintaining oral hygiene and improving overall health, contact us or schedule an appointment today!