The health of your mouth is connected to your overall health. Making dental care a part of your everyday life can help reduce your risk for these health concerns:
1. Respiratory Infections
A healthy mouth can help keep your lungs strong. Bacteria in your mouth can increase the amount of bacteria in your lungs. Respiratory infections such as pneumonia or bronchitis are caused when bacteria from the throat is inhaled into the lower respiratory tract. A study published in the Journal of Periodontology found that among people hospitalized with respiratory infection, those with gum disease had worse infections than those who did not have gum disease.
2. Premature Birth & Low Birth Weight
During pregnancy, dental health matters for both mom and baby-to-be. Some studies suggest a link between premature births and pregnant women with gum disease. Bacteria buildup can travel through the bloodstream and to the baby, causing fetal toxicity, sometimes resulting in premature birth or low birth weight. Learn more about dental health tips for expecting mothers here.
3. Stomach Ulcers
Bacteria and plaque buildup can cause larger problems for overall health. One type of bacteria in particular, Helicobacter pylori, is responsible for stomach ulcers. This type of bacteria is more present in people with gum disease, increasing their risk of getting stomach ulcers.
Preventative oral care is the best way to prevent gum disease, including: Brushing twice a day for at least two minutes with fluoridated toothpaste, flossing daily and seeing the dentist regularly.
Learn more about the connection between oral and overall health here:
- 3 Health Conditions that Benefit from Extra Dental Cleanings
- Dental Checkups Can Help Detect More Than Just Dental Issues