Dental Health and its Importance for Staying Fit

February 27, 2012 · 2 comments

This is a guest post by Matt Miller.

The importance of good oral health is not limited to a beautiful smile. It is an essential aspect of your overall well-being. Apart from making you feel and look good, healthy teeth, tongue and lips also play an important role in digestion and several other functions of the human body.

The process of digestion begins in the mouth. The chewing action breaks down food particles and helps in mixing it with the salivary amylase, which is essential for the digestion of starch. Teeth, tongue and lips also need to be in a healthy state for proper pronunciation.

Risks Posed by Lack of Oral Hygiene to Overall Health

Poor oral hygiene has been linked to a number of diseases by different studies. A large number of bacteria reside in the mouth, most of which are harmless. Good oral hygiene and the body’s natural immunity keep the harmful bacteria under control. If these get out of control, they can lead to a number of problems. Oral conditions can bring down protective barriers and make the entry of bacteria into the blood stream easier. If a person has a weak immune system, this can lead to infections in other parts of the body like endocarditis (infection of the inner lining of the heart).

Research indicates that the probability of suffering from a heart attack is higher in individuals with gum disease compared to those having healthy gums. Harmful oral bacteria and associated gum inflammation can encourage plaque build-up, cause arterial inflammation and induce dangerous clotting, with risk patterns remaining unchanged across the different age groups. Treatment of periodontal diseases can bring down C-reactive protein levels, a known cardiovascular risk factor, and lower the threat of associated heart conditions.

A separate study reports that gum disease can increase the risk of a stroke. According to researchers at the University of Colombia, the amount of arterial plaque is directly proportional to the severity of gum diseases.

It is a known fact that periodontal diseases frequently accompany diabetes. A study published by the New York State University researchers demonstrates that the treatment of gum diseases is necessary for long term sugar control.

Gum disease also increases the risk of low birth weight and pre-term babies in pregnant women. According to researchers, periodontal infections raise biological fluid levels that trigger labour.

Gum infections are also believed to cause respiratory disorders. Oral bacteria, if breathed into the lungs, can lead to pneumonia or aggravate existing respiratory diseases like COPD.

The good news however is that you can easily avoid these kinds of health problems through good oral care.

How to Maintain Oral Hygiene?

Brushing and flossing are the most important aspects of your oral care routine. You need to brush your teeth at least two times everyday, ideally with a medium-soft toothbrush and fluoride containing toothpaste. Brush for a minimum of two minutes and ensure that you pay attention to all areas of the mouth. Brushing may not remove plaque in the narrow spaces between the teeth, an area that can be only be effectively cleaned using floss. If you are unfamiliar with flossing, you can ask your dentist to demonstrate the right technique.

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{ 2 comments }

Chel Hamilton Master Hypnotist March 2, 2012 at 7:23 pm

Wow! This is an angle I never ever considered. (And I read, a TON of stuff!)
Thank you so much for pointing out these possible connections in regard to general health and weight loss.

House March 13, 2012 at 6:51 am

Healthy teeth will also lead to more confidence and better self esteem which is also linked to better health.

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