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How does dental hygiene affect your overall health?

It is imperative to maintain good oral hygiene for a healthy mouth. This practice prevents dental decay and gum disease, which can negatively impact overall health and well-being. Our dentists at Cobourg emphasize the importance of a healthy mouth for your overall well-being.

Practicing good oral hygiene is one reasonably reliable predictor of better dental health outcomes. This means you are more likely to keep your teeth as you age if you have good oral hygiene habits. Because dental health can impact overall physical wellbeing, good oral hygiene practices can have a positive impact on your overall health.

A Healthy Salivary Flow

Did you know that saliva can be a helpful tool for doctors and dentists to detect systemic diseases before their symptoms show up? It's true! Saliva can also act as a defender against disease-causing organisms by destroying bacteria and viruses before they enter your body.

Saliva contains antibodies that can attack viral pathogens like the common cold and HIV. It also has enzymes that can break down bacterial membranes, disrupt vital bacterial enzyme systems, and inhibit the growth and metabolism of bacteria.

Fortunately, maintaining healthy salivary flow is easy for most people. All you need to do is stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. This will ensure that your salivary flow remains healthy and your body can continue to fight off harmful organisms.

Dental Plaque & Infection

As humans, we are home to more than 500 types of bacteria in our mouths. These bacteria are responsible for forming dental plaque, a sticky substance that adheres to our teeth and leads to various health issues. Neglecting to brush and floss regularly can cause plaque to accumulate between our teeth and gums, potentially resulting in gingivitis, a gum infection.

If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease. In cases of periodontitis, even simple dental treatments or routine brushing can create an entry point for the abundant oral bacteria into our bloodstream, which can lead to infections in other parts of our body.

While a healthy immune system can combat these bacteria, weakened immune systems from illnesses or cancer treatments can increase the risk of infections caused by oral bacteria in the bloodstream. An example of this is infective endocarditis, where oral bacteria attach to the lining of diseased heart valves.

Dental Plaque's Link to Common Conditions

Maintaining good oral health can have a positive impact on your overall well-being by reducing the risk of various medical issues such as stroke, heart attack, diabetes-related complications, and premature labor.

Poorly Controlled Diabetes

Chronic gum disease may make diabetes more difficult to control. The infection may cause insulin resistance, which can disrupt blood sugar control.

Cardiovascular Disease

Did you know that bacteria in the mouth can lead to inflammation in the body, including the arteries? This means that gingivitis might be linked to clogged arteries and blood clots. Furthermore, gum disease and tooth loss could also contribute to the formation of plaques in the carotid artery. It's important to take good care of our oral health to prevent potential health issues in other parts of our body.

If you're looking to enhance your oral hygiene routine to boost your overall health, our dentists at Cobourg are here to help. Simply schedule an appointment with us today.

Treat yourself to a healthy smile today. Book an appointment with our team!

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