What Your Mouth Says About Your Health
Your mouth is the gateway to your body. An unhealthy mouth may increase your risk for serious health problems, including heart attack, diabetes and preterm labor. Research shows that more than 90 percent of all systematic diseases have oral manifestations, including swollen gums, mouth ulcers or excessive gum problems. Here's a look at some of the diseases and conditions that may be connected to oral health.
- Diabetes - Due to elevated blood sugars, diabetes increases your risk of gum disease, cavities, tooth loss, dry mouth, and a variety of oral infections. Conversely, because diabetes can reduce the body's resistance to infection, it can be difficult to control.
- Heart Disease - According to research, poor oral health can increase the risk for developing heart disease as studies have shown a link between the bacteria found in both diseases.
- Premature Birth - Studies have found that expectant mothers with periodontal disease are up to seven times more likely to deliver premature, low-birth-weight babies.
- Your mouth can reveal other clues about your state of health as well including respiratory conditions, oral cancer and osteoporosis.
To keep your mouth and body healthy:
- Provide our Milford office with a complete health history -- illnesses and medication use -- even if they seem unrelated to your oral health.
- Brush and floss regularly to help remove bacteria from the mouth that could potentially travel through your body.
- Eat a well-balanced diet to keep your immune system strong.
- If you smoke, talk to your dentist about options for quitting.
- Visit Bruce R. Schechter, D.D.S. for routine checkups and professional cleanings to prevent problems and detect potential issues in their early stages.
The signs and symptoms of many potentially life-threatening diseases appear in the mouth first. Since most people have regular oral examinations, the dentist is often the first to identify a health problem in its early stages. Dental professionals are trained to look for many systemic diseases simply through your regular oral exam.
Make it a priority to practice good oral hygiene every day. You're making an investment in your total body health, not just for now, but for the future, too.