September 22, 2016
You know that healthy teeth and gums contribute to a beautiful, long-lasting smile — but you may not realize the impact your oral health has on your systemic well-being. Your heart and lungs can affect or be affected by the state of your teeth and gums. Eating a balanced, nutritious diet and practicing good dental hygiene can help you enjoy solid oral and overall health for years to come. Learn more from Dr. Jose Bushdid, your Coral Gables dentist, in this week’s blog post.
Your Gums Affect Your Heart
There is perhaps no closer link between your overall and oral health than that between the gums and your heart. As the gateway to the rest of your body, gums provide an easy entry into the bloodstream for the bacteria that flourishes to cause gum disease. Though medical science is still not exactly sure why, multiple studies show that people who have gum disease are more likely to suffer from a number of heart conditions, including…
- Heart attack
- High blood pressure
- Hardened arteries
- Cardiovascular disease
The thinking behind the link is that inflammation in the gums causes or indicates inflammation elsewhere — especially in the heart. There is good news, however, that treating gum disease may reduce the risk of heart disease and other related conditions.
Lungs and Your Oral Health
If you have tooth decay and gum disease, you also have a host of bacteria in your mouth — and the small particles are likely to be aspirated, or breathed into the lungs. People who suffer from poor oral health are also more likely to suffer from a number of respiratory conditions, like pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and lung disease.
Alternately, lung conditions can also affect your oral health. One example is the use of inhalers for asthma; always rinse the mouth out with water or brush the teeth after inhaling. The leftover medicine can cause oral sores or affect healthy tooth enamel. People who suffer from asthma are also more likely to experience dry mouth, which ups the risk for tooth decay and gum disease.
Healthy Body = Healthy Mouth
We encourage our patients to take a comprehensive approach to their oral health. Consider how your diet and nutrition affect your mouth — and when you do, you may notice your overall wellbeing improving, too.
Here are some tips you can incorporate into your everyday life to enjoy better dental health for years to come.
- Eat a balanced, nutritious diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy.
- Choose whole grains (like quinoa!) rather than refined or modified ones, which throw off the delicate pH balance of your mouth and accelerate decay.
- Drink plenty of water to prevent dry mouth and naturally wash away harmful bacteria.
- People who have gluten sensitivities should be aware of the importance of staying gluten-free for their oral and overall wellbeing.
Come Into Bushdid Smiles!
Preventive dental care is a vital aspect of long-lasting oral health. When was your last visit to Bushdid Smiles? If it’s been more than six months, it’s time to see your dentist in Coral Gables. Request an appointment today!
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