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How Does Your Oral Health Affect Your Overall Health? Answered by Your Banbury Dentist

Thursday, March 14th 2019 | by 41 Southbar | Advice Health

As we know, good oral hygiene is key for healthy teeth and gums. We don’t need to give you a reason to floss and to brush twice a day but actually, there are more benefits to it than just preventing decay and bad breath. Research has found that there are many links between good oral health and your overall health and so, in honour of World Oral Health Day on 20th March, your Banbury dentist has compiled this article to help you learn more!

Dental Check Up

The Mouth: The Gateway to the Body

The mouth is the gateway to the body – it has a lot of daily use, and as a result, it is at risk of infection and can lead to a number of more serious health conditions. Day to day, there are more than 500 types of bacteria inside the mouth, and with appropriate care and regular check-ups with your Banbury dentist, it can protect itself and the body from infection. Without proper care, and in more severe cases, this may not be the case.

 

Oral Health: What happens if it isn’t maintained?

  • Plaque build up
  • Tooth decay
  • Gum disease

Plaque is caused by a build-up of bacteria in your mouth. When the plaque itself starts to build up, there becomes an inflammation in the mouth around the gums. This inflammation then lets more bacteria in, which can lead to infections such as:

Gingivitis

This is the early stage of gum disease, which is caused by a build-up of plaque. Symptoms include bad breath and gums bleeding when brushing teeth. Most people suffer from gingivitis at some point in their life and fortunately, it is very manageable when spotted early.

Periodontitis

Periodontitis develops when gingivitis is not treated. It affects the gums as well as the tissues in your mouth that support the teeth, so if not treated, the patient could potentially suffer from tooth loss.

Trench Mouth

Trench mouth is a rapidly developing form of gingivitis. This severe gum infection causes bleeding gums and ulcers, and if it develops, it can lead to tooth loss. Trench mouth is a very rare condition but requires urgent attention if diagnosed.

 

How do dental infections lead to more serious health conditions?

Prolonged infection and oral health neglection can then lead to more serious problems such as:

  • Heart attacks
  • Heart disease
  • Strokes
  • Diabetes
  • Preterm labour
  • Osteoporosis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Lung conditions

These conditions vary for many people and can most likely be prevented with good dental hygiene. However, if you’re concerned at all about any of the above, book an appointment with your Banbury dental practice as soon as possible.

 

Can the mouth be used as a diagnostic tool?

Whilst the mouth can cause a number of conditions, it also acts as an excellent diagnostic tool for other health issues:

Saliva can be used to test for a number of things:

  • Illegal drugs
  • Hormones
  • Infections
  • Cortisol levels
  • Certain cancer markers

Additionally, bone proteins can be used to check for osteoporosis.

 

How can I keep my mouth clean?

There are a number of health conditions that are affected by poor oral hygiene but fortunately, many of them can be prevented with appropriate care.

Brush Twice Daily with Fluoride Toothpaste

The fluoride in toothpaste can help to prevent tooth decay, so it’s important to ensure your toothpaste includes it. Brush every surface of your teeth twice a day (unless you have been instructed otherwise by your dentist) for at least two minutes each time.

Top tip #1: Don’t immediately rinse with water, it dilutes the preventative effects of the fluoride.

Top tip #2: Don’t brush immediately after eating or drinking as the act of brushing can actually cause erosion of the teeth if there are sugars and acids still on the surface.

Toothbrush and Toothpaste

Floss Once Daily

You can fit this around your own routine, although flossing in the evening may be more beneficial as it will ensure there are no food particles left in between the teeth overnight.

Use a Fluoride Mouthwash

Like with water, using a mouthwash immediately after brushing can wash away the toothpaste, making it less effective. It would perhaps be more beneficial to use this after lunch.

Regular Visits to the Dentist

Make sure you book regular visits to your dentist in Banbury to maintain your oral health. The team at 41 South Bar can provide regular check-ups to monitor the health of your teeth and gums, and work to prevent and manage any health conditions.

Visit a Dental Hygienist

Every once in a while, you may need to visit the dental hygienist to remove the hardened plaque (tartar) from your teeth. This will prevent build-up from causing infections.

 

Book a Visit With 41 South Bar

Our highly skilled team at our Banbury dental practice can take care of all of your dentistry requirements. From specialist treatments such as tooth whitening and dental implants, to general dentistry in Banbury, 41 South Bar has got you covered.

Contact our helpful and professional team today on 01295 262008 or book online today.

 

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