The Oral Systemic Connection
Palo Alto, CA
The more medial and dental studies have advanced, the link between oral health and overall health becomes more evident. Studies show a strong link between a patient’s oral health and other areas of the body including their hormone levels, the health of their heart and more. Our staff at Palo Alto Oral Health can provide with the tips, tools and preventive care needed to help you have a healthier mouth; your overall health may rely on it.
How does oral health affect my overall health?
It may seem disconnected, your mouth to other areas of your body, but it is quite connected. Your mouth is exposed to a large variety of bacteria, some are considered good bacteria, and some are bad or unhealthy. Your mouth comes in contact with bacteria from eating food, speaking and even breathing; bacteria is everywhere. Your mouth has a natural line of defense known as saliva. Saliva does its best to wash away bacteria, but there are some things that can get in the way to prevent this natural wash. Significant bacteria can bypass saliva and gain access when:
||It Can Attach to Plaque: Plaque is a sticky substance that naturally forms on your teeth. It is made up of a blend of saliva and any food debris in your mouth. Diets today come with much sugar, sugar is in dessert-style food, but also in many of the drinks people consume and in anything that contains gluten such as bread and pasta products. Granules of sugar are found in plaque, along with the bacteria. Bacteria feed on the sugar and then emits an acid as a waste product that decays teeth, infects the gum tissue and works to erode bone. The production of saliva is designed to capture and remove food debris and bacteria, but sugar caught in plaque is unhealthy for our teeth. We need to remove it daily through brushing and flossing.
||You Have Decreased Saliva Production: There are many reasons a patient may experience decreased saliva production. It can be due to medications they are taking, a medical condition they have, it can be from the drinking of alcoholic products as alcohol dries the mouth, or from smoking tobacco, marijuana or vape, which also dries the mouth with heat. Patients who have decreased saliva production have higher incidence of bacteria problems because their body is not naturally washing it away.
A bacterial infection in your mouth, such as gum disease, periodontitis, a cavity due to decay, or an abscess, is a bacterial infection in your body. Your body will send resources to fight it, though often can not be successful on its own. This can mean a couple of things for the patient; it can mean that disease-causing bacteria can travel in your body and it can also mean that your body is not able to fight other problems because it is focusing on problems in your mouth. Studies have shown that patients who are actively fighting bacteria problems in their mouth have a higher incidence of cardiovascular and even problems with diabetes. You can help your body by taking care of your mouth.