The Link Between Oral Health and Overall Well-being

For many reasons we might see a disconnect between our oral health and our overall health, but the two are actually closely linked. While we spend time at different physicians’ offices (dentists vs general practitioners) to discuss that health, your oral health impacts and is impacted by your physical health. How we take care of our teeth and gums can greatly impact our bodies, and in many bases, symptoms in the mouth can often be signs of health issues throughout the body. Our mouths are one of the main ways things get into our bodies, from food to bacteria. In this article, we will cover how proper oral care can impact your health and how oral symptoms can give us insight into our physical health. If you need a dentist in the Lewiston area, please give us a call. 

How Does My Oral Health Impact My Physical Health?

There are many ways to improve your overall health. Diet, exercise, and a of course decreasing the risks of illness. Washing your hands for example, prevents bacteria from entering your body when you touch your mouth, nose, eyes, or ears. The mouth is a particularly important area of the body. It is one of the largest entrances for our bodies and it can be home to millions of bacteria. While many types of bacteria are harmless, and some are even beneficial, it is important to mitigate how bacteria enters and interacts with our bodies. Brushing, flossing, and dental hygiene can prevent the spreading of viruses and bacterial infections. In fact, your dentist will likely feel your lymph nodes around your neck and throat during an exam, as swelling lymph nodes are often a sign of infection. 

Gum Disease & The Rest Of Your Health

Gum disease is a very troubling issue for many reasons. But one of the main reasons is that gum disease can often precede or link to other physical health problems. Gum disease is caused by bacteria growth and infection of the gums. Again, your mouth is a major gateway to the rest of your body. Signs of infection in your gums can mean that bacteria, viruses, and other causes for concern are entering your body. Research has linked gum disease to a variety of health concerns, especially when looking at the lungs and cardiovascular system. Bacteria in your mouth can enter your lungs and that can cause problems with your heart. Proper oral care can decrease bacteria, prevent infections, and protect the rest of  your body. 

The Importance Of Oral Cancer Screenings

Oral cancer, like all cancers, can spread throughout the body. Oral cancer is a fairly common cancer especially in people with a familiar history of cancer or people who smoke or ingest other carcinogens. Catching cancer early is the best scenario. This is why doctors recommend cancer screenings and why dentists often recommend oral cancer screenings. Swollen lymph nodes are often a sign of infection or even cancer. Scheduling an oral cancer screening as part of  your routine dental visits adds an extra layer of protection. 

Family Dental Services in Lewiston Maine

Dental care at a dental office goes a long way towards your overall health, from screenings, to x-rays to preventative care that can keep your mouth healthy and prevent gum disease and other infections. If you need a dentist in the Lewiston Maine area, please give us a call. 

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