360 Dental: A 360 Look at Your Dental Health

360 Dental: A 360 Look at Your Dental Health

by Shearly (SU)

Did you know that your dental health is connected to your overall health? Studies have shown that poor dental health is heavily related to other major medical conditions. In large part this is because of the many bacteria that thrive in the warm, moist environment of your mouth. Daily brushing and flossing, along with other good oral hygiene can limit their impact, but if they are left unchecked, it can easily lead to tooth decay or even gun disease. When it comes to dental health, you really need to take a 360 degree look.


How Oral Bacteria Impact Health

Researchers have found that the bacteria in your mouth that cause gum inflammation may play a much larger role in other conditions, such as heart disease, than previously thought. For instance, studies have also shown that patients who have periodontal disease are twice as likely to develop diabetes than those who do not. It is not clear if the gum disease encourages periodontal disease, but many researchers believe that oral infections can lead to increased inflammation throughout the body.


This can compromise the body’s ability to process those sugars present in food. Some of the inflammatory molecules may actually bind with insulin receptors, which prevent the cells from using the insulin the body produces to shuttle glucose into the cells. This, in turn, may lead to the pancreas, which creates insulin, to burn out, because it can no longer keep up with the demands.


Poor oral health may also contribute to osteoporosis and even Alzheimer's disease. Researchers at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) School of Medicine and Dentistry in England have found evidence that bacteria in the mouth may lead to changes in the brain, because they can be easily spread to other parts of the body by eating or even brushing your teeth. More research is required, but the link is strong enough to support more ongoing studies.


While we do not understand all of the links between oral health and overall health, one thing is clear: a healthier mouth may help you live a healthier, happier life. From bone and brain health to reducing your odds of developing diabetes, the best plan of action in caring for your oral health includes daily brushing with fluoride toothpaste. You should also floss regularly, and eat a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables with limited between meal snacks.


It’s a good habit to avoid sugary junk foods, which can damage your teeth, as well as degrade your overall health. You should also schedule regular checkups and dental cleanings, and avoid using tobacco. Think of good oral health as an investment in your long-term wellbeing. Your dentist can also spot problems before they become a bigger issue.


Are you ready to schedule that first appointment? Call our offices today at (541) 689-1645 or request an appointment online. Our knowledgeable dentistry staff is more than happy to speak with you and answer any questions you may have regarding your oral health, and help address any dental concerns you may have.