When it comes to staying healthy, many of us focus on exercising, eating a balanced diet and getting enough sleep. However, we might not realize that our oral health also plays an important role in our overall wellbeing. Here are five surprising ways your oral health affects your overall wellbeing.
1. It Affects Your Heart Health
Recent studies have shown that there is a link between gum disease and heart disease, as both conditions involve inflammation. When you have gum disease, the inflammation can spread throughout your body, including your heart, which can increase your risk of a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular conditions.
2. It Can Affect Your Mental Health
Poor oral health can also have a negative impact on your mental health. Research has found that people with gum disease are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders. This is likely due to the discomfort and pain associated with gum disease, as well as the social stigma that can come with having bad breath or missing teeth.
3. It Affects Your Respiratory Health
The bacteria that cause gum disease can also make their way into your respiratory system, leading to respiratory infections like pneumonia. These bacteria can also aggravate existing respiratory conditions like asthma, causing flare-ups and making symptoms worse.
4. It Can Affect Your Fertility
In women, gum disease has been linked to a lower chance of becoming pregnant and a higher risk of premature birth and low birth weight babies. This is thought to be due to the inflammation caused by gum disease, which can affect the reproductive system and make it harder for a fertilized egg to implant in the uterus.
5. It Affects Your Immune System
Your oral health is closely tied to your immune system, as the bacteria in your mouth can easily enter your bloodstream and compromise your body’s defenses. People with poor oral health are more likely to develop infections and illnesses, as their immune system is weakened by the constant assault of bacteria and inflammation.
In conclusion, oral health should not be overlooked in our efforts to stay healthy. By practicing good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing twice a day, flossing regularly and visiting your dentist for regular check-ups, you can improve your overall wellbeing and reduce your risk of serious health complications.