Oral hygiene is key to preventing dental plaque, gum disease, and bad breath, but did you know there was even more at stake when it comes to your overall health? For decades, dentists and other medical professionals have been researching the link tying the health of the mouth and the health of the body. Turns out, having an unhealthy oral cavity can put patients at risk of many other systemic diseases.
In this 4-part series, your dentist in Longview will discuss in detail the links between oral health and 3 dangerous conditions.
Oral Health and Life-Threatening Diseases
Thanks to decades of research, scientists are now more aware than ever of the dangers that poor oral health can have on patient’s overall health. In some cases, oral bacteria is able to travel from the mouth and into the bloodstream. This occurs when the connective tissue that acts as a barrier breaks down, allowing bacteria to travel to any organ in the body and cause damage. In this series, we’ll be examining three diseases that have undergone significant study and their links to poor oral health.
According to reports from researchers at multiple top universities around the world, Alzheimer’s disease, pancreatic cancer, and heart disease all have links to poor oral health.
Just Another Reason to Visit Your Dentist
Did you know that 90 percent of systemic diseases have markers that start in the mouth? That puts your dentist in a unique position to catch disease early, even sooner than your general practitioner may be able to. Considering you should be visiting your dentist every six months, that makes you twice as likely, (compared to annual physicals) to catch disease early.
Whether it’s oral cancer or heart disease, early detection is key to better treatment and therefore a better recovery. Remember, your dentist isn’t trained only to catch and treat dental disease. He’s always taking the extra time to learn about systemic disease and what the signs and symptoms are. For this reason, dental visits should be treated as seriously as visits to your general physician.
Practicing Oral Care at Home
Luckily, most dental disease can be prevented if you simply take the steps necessary in between your bi-annual dental visits. These steps include:
- Brushing twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste for at least two minutes at a time
- Flossing daily to remove plaque and food debris
- Keeping a healthy and balanced diet
- Avoiding foods known to cause cavities (foods high in sugar or starches)
No patients are created equal, so it’s entirely possible that you are more genetically disposed to oral disease than those around you. For this reason, you may need to visit the dentist more often than twice a year.
Ready to learn which diseases are linked to poor oral health? Stay updated on this 4-part series from your Longview dentist!
About the Author
Dr. David Vaca earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the Baylor College of Dentistry. He’s always working to bring world-class dentistry to the Longview and East Texas area. To learn more about your dentist in Longview or about his practice, contact him through his website.