The Mouth-Body Connection: What Is It?

The mouth is what connects our body to the outside world. The mouth is often the first point of contact for any virus or bacteria, which explains why we cover our face when we sneeze or cough. Today, amid a global pandemic, we wear masks to protect ourselves and others from contracting COVID-19. 

There is a risk of suffering from certain diseases that are easily avoidable with proper oral hygiene. In this blog post, we will break down the concept of the mouth-body connection, what diseases are linked to oral health, and how you can practice proper hygiene at home.

What is the mouth-body connection?

There is a direct link between the status of your oral health and the health of your body. Think about when you have a toothache or a sore throat. Your overall body will feel that pain throughout, and it will affect your overall wellbeing.

Lacking proper oral hygiene leads to an accumulation of bacteria on your teeth, making your gums susceptible to infection. The immune system then attacks the infection, causing your gums to become inflamed. As one problem develops in your mouth, it can easily lead to other diseases in the rest of your body if left untreated.

What diseases can be linked to oral health

Unfortunately, several diseases are linked to poor oral health. Inflammation and infections in oral cavities exposed to gingivitis and prostaglandins, a more severe type of gum disease, may be connected to heart disease, blocked arteries, and stroke. You may also risk developing mouth cancer, lung conditions, dental decay, and tooth loss.

If you have diabetes, you are at risk for gum disease. Diabetes and periodontitis (a severe gum disease from chronic inflammation) have one of the strongest links between the mouth and the rest of the body. Inflammation in the mouth appears to impair the body’s capacity to regulate blood sugar.

Pregnant women need to note how premature delivery and low birth weight have been associated with gingivitis. While several variables might lead to preterm or low birth weight newborns, researchers continue to investigate the potential involvement of gum disease. If you’re pregnant or planning to get pregnant, we recommend a complete periodontal exam to determine whether or not you’re at risk of having a healthy pregnancy.

How you can improve oral health and thereby prevent further health issues

The good news is that you can quickly improve your oral health by following these simple guidelines:

  • Brush your teeth daily, preferably twice a day. The goal is to avoid any plaque buildup.
  • Floss your teeth. 
  • Try switching your diet to healthier food choices. Avoid eating anything that could lead to the decay of your teeth, like refined sugars found in desserts or soft drinks. Drinking water is essential to good oral health and overall health. 
  • Consider replacing your toothbrush every couple of months once the bristles have become worn down. 
  • Use mouthwash to help eliminate any unwanted bacteria that can cause bad breath and cavities. 
  • Incorporate routine dentist visits in your yearly calendar. Tell yourself that visiting the dentist is much less of a hassle than a trip to the emergency room. Your dentist can quickly help pinpoint why you feel any discomfort or pain in your mouth and provide you with the necessary care. 

If you wish to book a dentist appointment with us, please call at (416) 296-1080 or visit our contact page.

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