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How Does Dental Hygiene Affect Your Overall Health?

Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial in keeping your mouth healthy and preventing dental decay and gum disease. Our dentists in Toronto also highlight how a healthy mouth can positively impact your overall health and well-being.

Practicing good oral hygiene is one reasonably reliable predictor of better dental health outcomes. This means you are more likely to keep your teeth as you age if you have good oral hygiene habits. Because dental health can impact overall physical well-being, good oral hygiene practices can have a positive impact on your overall health.

A Healthy Salivary Flow

Did you know that saliva is a powerful diagnostic tool? It helps doctors and dentists detect systemic diseases even before they manifest symptoms. Plus, saliva can prevent bacteria and viruses from entering your body, making it a vital defense against disease-causing organisms.

Saliva is packed with antibodies that can attack viral pathogens, including HIV and the common cold. It also contains enzymes that can destroy bacteria in several different ways, such as by degrading bacterial membranes and disrupting vital enzyme systems. To keep your salivary flow healthy, simply stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.

Dental Plaque & Infection

Did you know that your mouth is home to more than 500 species of bacteria? These bacteria are responsible for the formation of dental plaque, a sticky film that accumulates on your teeth and can lead to various health issues if not removed regularly through brushing and flossing.

Failure to do so can cause gingivitis, a gum infection that can progress to periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease. Periodontitis can be dangerous, as even simple dental treatment or brushing can provide access to your bloodstream and allow bacteria to enter.

While the presence of oral bacteria in the bloodstream is harmless for most of us, individuals with weakened immune systems, such as those undergoing cancer treatment or suffering from a disease, are at risk of developing infections in other parts of their body.

One example of this is infective endocarditis, where oral bacteria can stick to the lining of diseased heart valves.

Dental Plaque’s Link to Common Conditions

Maintaining a healthy mouth can potentially prevent various medical issues like stroke, heart attack, complications arising from diabetes, and premature labor.

Poorly Controlled Diabetes

If one suffers from chronic gum disease, it may lead to difficulties in controlling diabetes. This is because the infection can trigger insulin resistance, which can potentially disrupt blood sugar control.

Cardiovascular Disease

It has been discovered that the presence of bacteria in the mouth can trigger inflammation in various parts of the body, including the arteries. This suggests that gingivitis could potentially lead to the formation of blood clots and blocked arteries. Furthermore, gum disease and tooth loss have been linked to the buildup of plaque in the carotid artery.

Your oral health can often correlate with the overall health of your body. If you’d like help improving your oral hygiene routine to better your overall health, please contact our Toronto dentists to schedule an appointment today.

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