How Does Your Mouth Affect Your Health? Let Us Count the Ways
The link between your oral health and your systemic wellbeing is not a new concept. Ancient philosophers postulated on the connection, and the first people to care for the health of teeth were physicians. Modern dentistry has allowed experts to investigate this relationship closer, and research has provided ample evidence to justify the historic theories. Dallas dentist, Dr. Brock Lynn, expounds upon a few developments that significantly increase the importance of maintaining a healthy mouth.
From Your Mouth to…
Oral infection and heart disease have a few things in common, chief of which is inflammation. Certain oral bacteria that contribute to dental plaque formation also incite your immune system’s inflammatory response to invading microorganisms. Bacteria cause your gums to separate from your teeth at the beginning of gum disease, but inflammation causes the damage that makes gum disease a risk to your oral health. Likewise, taking steps to prevent inflammation, such as inflammatory medications, considerably reduces your risk of developing heart disease.
Chronic respiratory infections, including pneumonia or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), are typically caused by bacteria that have been inhaled and enter the lower respiratory tract. A study published in JOP (the Journal of Periodontology) examined 200 participants aged 20-60. All participants had at least 20 natural teeth, and half of them were in the hospital for respiratory disease. The other half was healthy and had no history of respiratory illness. The findings of the study suggest poor periodontal (gum) health corresponded to a significantly increased risk of developing respiratory trouble.
The subject of dental health and dementia has garnered much attention. One study conducted by Swedish researchers has shown that the ability to chew, or the lack thereof, could influence the cognitive dysfunction associated with dementia. Participants that had difficulty eating hard foods, such as an apple, showed lower cognitive effectiveness than those who could chew normally. The results did not alter when considering whether participants chewed with natural teeth or dentures.
Protect it All
To learn more about the mouth-body connection, or to schedule a dental consultation, contact Lynn Dental Care at 972-934-1400. Our 75240 area dental practice serves individuals from Dallas, Park Cities, and many more surrounding communities.