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The Link between Oral Health and Overall Health

Taking care of your teeth and mouth is more important than ever. An increasing body of research has identified a critical link between oral health and overall health. Maintaining a healthy mouth may reduce your chances of developing a life-threatening disease. The opposite is true as well — poor oral health may have negative consequences for the rest of your body.

Here, Orlando implant dentist and oral and maxillofacial surgeon Ronald Trevisani explains what you need to know about oral health and overall health.

Oral Health Problems May Raise the Risk of Serious Health Problems

A growing number of dental and medical experts believe that oral health problems like plaque around the teeth and gum disease may raise the risk of serious health problems such as the following:

  • Heart attack: The same bacteria that cause gum disease can get into the bloodstream and cause the arteries to build up plaque and harden; this can impede blood flow and increase the chances of having a heart attack.
  • Respiratory problems: Bacteria from infected teeth or swollen gums can be inhaled into the lungs (or travel through the bloodstream), leading to pneumonia or possibly COPD.
  • Diabetes: People with diabetes have a higher risk of gum disease; gum disease also makes it more difficult to control diabetes because the infection can cause insulin resistance.
  • Pregnancy complications: Expectant mothers with poor oral health are at a higher risk of delivering preterm, low birth weight babies.

Preventing Oral and Systemic Health Problems

The best way to prevent health issues caused by poor oral health is to practice good oral hygiene habits. Brushing and flossing daily are essential, as is avoiding tobacco products. You should also see a dentist regularly for check-ups and professional cleanings, which reaches the nooks and crannies between the teeth that your toothbrush misses.

It’s also important to eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet. This can be an obstacle for people with tooth loss, as missing teeth jeopardize chewing function and may prevent someone from eating the vitamin-filled fruits and vegetables they need. It is not uncommon for widespread tooth loss to lead to malnutrition.

Bearing this in mind, you can understand the importance of replacing missing teeth with sturdy prosthetics to restore complete chewing ability. Dental implants allow for better biting and chewing function than any other tooth replacement. Unlike dentures, dental implant can bite into an apple or a crisp celery stalk without coming loose or shifting around in the mouth.

Learn More about Replacing Missing Teeth

Dr. Trevisani, trusted Orlando implant dentist, would be happy to discuss your tooth replacement options in consultation. Please call or email our office today to make an appointment.