How Oral Health Impacts your Overall Health: Understanding the Oral Systemic Connection

how oral health impacts your overall health

Many believe that brushing the teeth and flossing each day is all that is needed to maintain oral health. While these oral hygiene habits are important, they are not the only way to a clean and beautiful smile. At Laguna Hills Dental in Laguna Hills, CA, patients will learn from our team of professionals about how vital it is to visit the dentist regularly to maintain a healthy smile—and a healthy body—due to the oral-systemic connection.

What is the connection between oral and overall health?

The connection between oral health and overall health is known as the “oral-systemic connection.” Dentists realized years ago that the bacteria that develops in the mouth that contributes to the development of periodontal disease plays a role elsewhere in the body. This is because the infection in the mouth can travel through the bloodstream, affecting other parts of the body and other organs. When this happens, it can cause inflammation throughout the body that contributes to many other health problems. In fact, many patients diagnosed with conditions such as heart diseases and diabetes are often found to have periodontal disease. This link connects the smile with the health of the body as a whole and makes it more important than ever that patients pay close attention to their oral health.

What are health problems caused by bad oral hygiene habits?

Below are just a few of the more common medical conditions that have a link to periodontitis:

• Chronic kidney disease
• Respiratory disease
• Cognitive impairment
• Metabolic syndrome
• Cancers
• Obesity
• Rheumatoid arthritis
• Heart disease
• Strokes
• Diabetes
• Dementia/Alzheimer’s disease

Many of these conditions can be kept under control in patients who control their oral health. Monitoring for periodontal disease if diagnosed with any of these conditions can help patients in making the connection in the link between the two.

What might happen if I’m pregnant?

Women who are pregnant are also highly susceptible to periodontal disease. This is often due to the erratic changes in hormones that occur during this time in a woman’s life. Pregnant women are strongly encouraged to visit the dentist regularly to monitor for periodontal disease, as it can also cause certain risks such as preterm labor or low birth weights. Be sure to tell your dentist if you are pregnant or are trying to become pregnant, as this may also impact the use of x-rays during this time.

How do I maintain good oral health for a healthier smile and body?

Patients must understand the importance of taking good care of the smile to, in turn, maintain their overall health and wellness. There are so many concerns that can develop when bacteria and infection start in the mouth. Drs. Millard Roth, and Dr. Anand Parekh educate patients on ways to maintain oral health:

Brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste after every snack or meal.
Floss the teeth at least once a day or after every meal if possible.
Visit the dentist every six months for a routine evaluation and cleaning.
Call the dentist when problems arise, or changes occur in your oral health.

Speak to a dentist in Laguna Hills, CA about your oral health and wellness With routine cleanings and dental exams in Laguna Hills, many patients can keep problems such as tooth decay and periodontal disease from becoming a severe issue. Drs. Millard Roth, and Dr. Anand Parekh of Laguna Hills Dental can assist with educating patients on how to maintain good oral health and wellness to keep the body as a whole healthy as well! Call (949) 855-0450 to request an appointment at Honali Plaza, 24741 Alicia Parkway, Suite A.

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