I. Stephen Brown, DDS
(215) 735-3660

The Perio Group Blog

The Importance of Maintaining Proper Oral Health

A good oral hygiene regimen will maintain healthy teeth and gums, but it can also have an impact on your overall health. Studies have shown that poor oral health is associated with other conditions, including pneumonia and endocarditis. Due to this, it’s vital to establish a comprehensive oral hygiene routine.

What conditions are associated with poor oral health?

There are a variety of health problems that are associated with oral hygiene, many of which are serious and even life-threatening. Some of the conditions which may arise as a result of limited oral hygiene may include:

Cardiovascular disease

It is believed that the infections and inflammation caused by bacteria in the mouth can contribute to clogged arteries, stroke, and heart disease. By regularly brushing your teeth, flossing, and having regular dental cleanings every 6 months, you can minimize the number of bacteria present and, therefore, potentially reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Pneumonia

If the bacteria in your mouth makes its way to your lungs, it can cause a range of respiratory problems. Pneumonia is a serious infection, which can be life-threatening in many cases. An excess of bacteria, usually associated with poor oral health, may increase the risk of developing this type of illness.

Endocarditis

When the valves or inner lining of the chambers of your heart become infected, it is known as endocarditis. Any infection this close to your heart is deemed to be a serious health issue and could cause a number of complications. One of the ways endocarditis can occur is if bacteria from your mouth enters the bloodstream and attaches to the endocardium.

Pregnancy

Also known as gum disease, periodontitis has been linked to low birth weights and premature births. Due to this, it’s essential that our patients who become pregnant come in for a visit with Dr. I. Stephen Brown at the beginning of their pregnancy. In addition, new mothers should continue to consult with him on a regular basis as they may continue to be at high risk of developing periodontitis following labor.

While your oral health can contribute to other conditions, seemingly unrelated health problems can also have an impact on your teeth and gums.

What health conditions can affect your teeth and gums?

Although your oral health can impact your overall health, there are a number of conditions that can have an effect on your oral health too. Diabetes, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s Disease, and HIV/AIDS have all been linked to reduced oral health, for example, so patients who have been diagnosed with these conditions will need to take extra care to protect their teeth and gums.

Protecting your health

Visiting us on a regular basis will help to ensure good oral health but it could ensure your entire body stays healthy too. While regular cleanings will minimize the number of bacteria present, routine check-ups will also identify potential oral health issues before they become more serious.

To find out more about the link between oral health and other medical conditions or to arrange a periodontal appointment now, contact us today.

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