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A dirty mouth can cause you more problems than you think. I am not talking about curse words, here, I am referring to poor oral hygiene. According to the studies, there is a connection between good oral health and overall health.
The oral cavity is an environment of multiple types of bacteria. Some are good, (yes, some bacteria are our friends), and some are bad.  Dentists everywhere will tell you that the buildup of harmful bacteria leads to dental decay that result in toothache and costly repair. Many of these bacteria build up and cause gum disease which is the entrance link for bacteria to go into the bloodstream and the body. When you are under stress, the body produces more acid which creates the perfect environment for the development of oral ulcerations and tooth decay. When your body is weak, the oral defenses are also weak.

What does the American Academy of Periodontology Say?

The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) has made efforts to educate the public on the link between oral health and overall health. The AAP encourages research on the mouth-body connection and promotes rapid treatment and prevention of oral disease to allow for improved overall health. There is a direct link between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, premature birth, and other systemic diseases. More research by the AAP uncovered that certain inflammatory conditions can be aggravated by periodontal disease, like Sjogren’s syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis.

What does the American Dental Association Say?

The American Dental Association (ADA) tells reminds of the vital link between a healthy body and a healthy mouth. If you want to look great and feel better, they suggest opting for good oral hygiene. They recommend that you clean between teeth daily with floss or an interdental cleaner and brush at least twice a day. If you wear dentures, remember that bacteria stick to them as well. It is best to remove them at night and keep them fresh and clean. Drinking plenty of water, according to the ADA, provides fluoride that teeth need to ward off decay. Remember that most bottled water does not contain fluoride but you can buy fluoride drops to add at a drug store. Specialists advise us to change our toothbrush every three or four months due to bacteria build-up that can occur.  Probably the best advice from the ADA is to keep regular dental checkups and have pride in your smile.

What do Cosmetic Dentists Say?

Dr. Wayne Sutton, a cosmetic dentist recognized as an Official Dentist with the Mrs. Globe and Mrs. USA Pageants, recommends that you can learn the best ways to take care of your teeth and gums with a good dental consultation and regular dental checkups. Understanding how oral health in turn affects other body systems is the most important aspect of a good oral hygiene plan. The mouth-body connection is not just about you looking good and having a pretty smile, it is about you feeling good and preventing diseases.

Continue reading after recommendations

  • American Dental Association. (2011). Consumer Resources.
  • Mayo Clinic (2011). Oral health: A window to your overall health.
  • Nazario, B. (2011). The Mouth-Body Connection: 6 ways oral hygiene helps you keep well. Schlocker, L. (2011). The Huffington Post. 6 ways oral hygiene affects the rest of your body.
  • Science Daily. (2009). Pregnancy: Bad oral hygiene can lead to complications in pregnancy and problems for babies.
  • Sutton, W. (2011). How oral hygiene affects your overall health.
  • Photo courtesy of dolmansaxlil on Flickr:

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