Oral Health and General Health

Our bodies are extraordinarily complex; a number of mind-boggling systems within them are constantly interacting, changing how we feel, how we act, how much energy we have, and much more. We’re still uncovering new and exciting things about the human body every day; take, for example, the gut-brain connection, with some going so far as to call the gut the “second brain”. The interactions between these systems have some important implications for what habits you should try to keep, and how medical professionals can diagnose certain problems at early stages; we’ll look at some of these now.

First, let’s take a look at how your oral health can affect your overall health. For the most part, your mouth is filled with harmless, even helpful, bacteria; some bacteria, however, can cause you health problems. Long-term followers of the blog will already know the implications that these bacteria have for cavities and gingivitis; fewer may know that these bacteria can eventually enter the bloodstream through the gums. This could have implications for cardiovascular health. To be clear, the connection between your heart and your oral health, at this point, is a bit tenuous. There are some studies that control for other factors, like smoking, that show that if an individual has poor oral health, but does not smoke, the link between poor oral health and poor cardiovascular health mostly disappears. Other studies that control for smoking, however, find there’s still a connection. In other words, we’ll need more studies. This is one of the trickiest things about working with multiple systems constantly interacting; controlling for variables can be difficult.

Now, let’s look at other conditions that can affect your oral health. Osteoporosis has a major impact on your mouth; it weakens the jawbone and the teeth, which can lead to chipped teeth or tooth loss. Your dentist may be able to detect early signs of osteoporosis through dental x-rays. Another disease your dentist might be able to catch early is diabetes. Gum disease is one of the more visible signs of diabetes, so if your oral health care routine hasn’t changed, but your gums have suddenly started bleeding, it’s a really good idea to go see your dentist. There’s a number of other diseases that have oral health problems as early symptoms, including HIV and rheumatoid arthritis. One of the reasons it’s so important to visit your dentist on the regular is that oral health check-ups can catch these problems before they get worse.

Anytime you have a change in your overall health, or in your oral health specifically, go to a dental clinic Winnipeg has trusted for years. Discuss your concerns with your dentist, and they’ll be able to investigate to see if you need to change your routine. It’s also a good idea to discuss any changes in medication with your dentist, as these can also affect your oral health. In the same vein, discussing oral health changes with other medical professionals is also a good idea; it all interacts.