New research is strengthening the argument between the relationship of oral health and general health, stating the better your oral health is the healthier you will be.
Bad oral health means tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath to name a but a few consequences. However, it can also mean a higher risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes. The mouth body connection is the idea that bacteria or inflammatory chemicals released by immune cells in the gums can enter the bloodstream and influence the behaviour of other tissues or organs.
It’s not a new idea, in fact it was first suggested by Hippocrates, however research from the past decade has shown strong links to Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. The experts think this link is down to inflammation in the mouth that occurs through poor oral health; a build-up of plaque means a build-up of bacteria in the mouth.
It’s from inflamed tissues in the mouth that bacteria can spread more easily to the rest of the body. Or as Francie Hughes, professor of periodontology at King’s College London, explains: “When you have gum disease, the gums are effectively ulcerated inside, so they’re not forming a tight seal. Every time you eat or brush your teeth, it pushes bacteria into the body and triggers inflammation.”
The body is a series of linked systems which all affect and influence each other. That’s why it’s so important to look after all aspects of your health; from oral health to your emotional, physical and mental wellbeing.
A healthy body is a functioning body and a strong body. Prevention is always better than a cure, so maintaining good health will help you feel good and improve your wellbeing.
When it comes to oral health, brushing twice a day for a minimum of two minutes is a must. Make sure you floss and use a high fluoride toothpaste. Regular check ups with your dentist is the best way to keep your mouth healthy – that’s why we have our monthly plans, to make it easier for you to keep your mouth it tip-top shape.