It is often said that your mouth is an indicator to your general health, just as the eyes reflect your soul. Doctors can pick up indications to other sicknesses from your oral health. The connection between oral and general health is more significant than you imagine.
The condition of your mouth is connected to many inner factors. The initial symptoms of many other diseases may exhibit in the mouth. Diseases of your mouth like gum infections etc may manifest at other parts of your body vice versa. Any infection in your stomach will result in odor and bad taste in the mouth. Read on to discover the correlation between oral and general health.
Why the bond between oral and general health?
The oral cavity is a breeding ground for many types of bacteria. The alkaline nature of the saliva usually keeps them under control. Regular oral care of brushing twice a day and dental flossing also keeps your mouth in good health. But any laidback attitude in taking care of your mouth may reverse this and cause uncontrollable growth of harmful bacteria. Eating sweets also increase the acidity of the mouth making it easier for the bacteria to breed. This could cause a severe gum disease called periodontis.
The harmful bacteria can reach your blood stream when there is an infection to the gums. Certain dental surgical procedures also could permit the bacteria to enter the blood stream. Certain medications reduce the production of saliva thereby upsetting the pH balance of your mouth. This makes it simpler for bacteria to reach the blood stream. Once the bacteria enter your blood stream, they are likely to cause problems to other parts of the body.
Oral health and associated health problems:
Here are few common illnesses that may be connected to your oral health.
1.Heart diseases- Though it has been proven that oral health can affect your heart and arteries; more research is needed to establish any direct link between cardiovascular diseases and oral hygiene.
2.Pregnancy and child birth- It is very important to maintain proper oral hygiene during all stages of pregnancy. Certain gum diseases have been linked to premature delivery in pregnant women. It is also important to include adequate amount of calcium in the diet during pregnancy, as deficiency could lead to cavities.
3.Diabetes- Oral infections, tooth loss or cavities, drying of the mouth etc are directly connected to diabetes. On the other hand, blood sugar levels fluctuate when oral hygiene is neglected. Oral infections may trigger sugar levels to rise, making it necessary for higher doses of insulin.
4.AIDS and HIV infections- AIDS patients have frequent oral infections like ulcers and lesions. Severe bacterial and viral oral infections could very often be initial indications of HIV infection. White spots or painful lesions on the tongue should be a reason to contact your doctor for further investigations.
5.Osteoporosis- Bone erosion shows up as teeth loss initially. A continuous decrease of bone density affects your jaw bone causing root infections. This will ultimately cause loss of teeth and other gum infections. Routine examinations and dental X-rays will shed light on the severity of the condition. If the situation worsens, your dental surgeon may suggest you to consult an orthopedic surgeon for further treatment.
6.Other diseases-Your mouth indicates the problems with your body well in advance. Venereal diseases like syphilis and gonorrhea, some types of cancers, substance abuse or eating disorders, Sjorgen’s syndrome, etc manifest as simple mouth infections at early stages. So ‘listen’ to what your mouth is telling you. It may prevent many a dangerous disease, if you give your mouth a patient hearing.