About 25% of US adults have untreated dental carries. Oftentimes, patients don’t realize that they have oral health problems or how important it is to have them treated.

Believe it or not, your oral health can indicate a lot about your overall health. By taking care of your oral health, you can also lower your risk for related health problems.

Today, we’re going to talk about the importance of oral health beyond the state of your teeth and gums. You might be surprised at what a visit to your local dentist can do.

Read on to discover the link between oral health and total health.

Oral Health and Your Heart

Believe it or not, the presence of oral bacteria can have a negative impact on your heart. Researchers are still trying to understand the exact link, but there is undeniable evidence that gum disease can increase the risk of heart disease.

For example, the buildup of bacteria caused by gum disease and other oral infections may increase the risk of endocarditis. Endocarditis is an infection in the inner lining of your heart and comes from the spread of bacteria in other areas of the body. Oral infections and bacteria may also increase the risk of stroke, clogged arteries, and other heart problems.

Oral Health and Bacterial Infections

Unfortunately, a large amount of bacteria in the mouth may not stay in the mouth. While it isn’t likely, that bacteria can move from your mouth into your lungs, causing a bacterial infection that is much harder to treat than gum disease.

This is particularly concerning for people who are immunocompromised, elderly, or have pre-existing conditions. Conditions like bacterial pneumonia can cause serious complications in these vulnerable populations.

Health Problems That Can Impact Oral Health

Your oral health doesn’t just impact your total body wellness. The inverse is also true, as some physical and cognitive ailments and disorders can create oral health problems.

For example, GERD can wear down the enamel on the teeth if stomach acid rises into the mouth on a regular basis. Osteoporosis, a disease that weakens the bones over time, is also linked to jawbone and tooth loss.

Some conditions like diabetes may have a cyclical impact on oral health. Diabetes reduces the body’s ability to fight infection, which can increase the risk of gum disease. Gum disease may also reduce blood sugar regulation.

Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Oral Health

If you haven’t visited your local dentist in the past six months, it’s time to schedule an appointment. When you recognize the link between dental care and overall wellness, the importance of oral health becomes clear.

Brighton Dental is proud to offer general dentistry services in San Diego, as well as cosmetic dentistry, restorative dentistry, and more. We are a holistic dental practice and prioritize your overall wellness, not just the health of your teeth and gums. Call us today to schedule an appointment.