Taking good care of your oral health is a goal worth pursuing. Excellent oral and dental hygiene can help prevent bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease, and it can help you keep your teeth healthy as you grow older.

Researchers have also discovered new reasons for brushing and flossing. A healthy mouth can help you prevent disease. Learn about the importance of oral health and its connection to overall health.

What you have in your mouth reveals your health

How does oral health relate to your overall health? In a nutshell. Looking at the saliva can tell the dentist in Newport beach what’s going on in your body.

Your mouth is like a window into what’s going on in the rest of your body.  For example, systemic diseases such as AIDS or diabetes usually first become apparent due to oral damage or other oral problems. In fact, according to statistics from the General College of Dentistry, more than 90% of all systemic diseases have oral symptoms and signs.

Saliva: a useful diagnostic tool

Your dentist in Newport beach can collect and test saliva to detect multiple substances. For example, cortisol levels in saliva can be used to test the stress response of newborns. Fragments of specific bone-specific proteins may help monitor bone loss in men and women who are susceptible to osteoporosis. Specific cancer markers can also be detected in saliva.

Routine saliva tests can also measure illegal drugs, environmental toxins, hormones, and antibodies that indicate hepatitis or HIV infection. The detection of HIV-specific antibodies has led to the production of some commercial, easy-to-use saliva detection kits.

Preventing harmful intruders: how saliva inactivates bacteria and viruses

Saliva can also protect you from many pathogenic bacteria. It has enzymes that destroy bacteria in different ways by degrading bacterial membranes, inhibiting the growth and metabolism of certain bacteria, and disrupting critical bacterial enzyme systems.

Although your saliva helps protect you from some intruders, it may not be up to the job. At any given time, more than 500 types of bacteria multiply in your mouth. These bacteria keep forming a plaque-a thick, colorless film that sticks to your teeth and causes health problems.

Your mouth is the source of infection

If you brush and occasionally floss to keep your teeth clean, plaque builds up on the gum line, creating an environment for more bacteria to accumulate in the space between your gums and your teeth. This gum infection is called gingivitis.

If you left it unchecked, gingivitis could lead to more severe gum infections, called periodontitis. The severe form of gum infection is called acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis, also called the ditch mouth.

Is dental plaque a common cause?

Long-term gum infections can eventually lead to tooth loss. But the consequences may not stop there. Recent studies suggest that there may be a link between oral infections (mainly gum infections) and poorly controlled diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and premature.

More research is needed for determining any oral infections that are causing these conditions, including:

Poor diabetes control – If you have diabetes, your risk of gum disease has increased. But in fact, chronic gum disease can also make diabetes more difficult to control. 

Cardiovascular diseases– Oral inflammation (gingivitis) due to bacteria may also play a role in arterial blockages and blood clots. Bacteria in the mouth seem to cause inflammation throughout the body, including the arteries.

This inflammation may affect the development of atherosclerotic plaques and may increase your risk of heart disease or stroke. 

Premature risk– Severe gum disease may increase early birth risks and lead to low birth weight babies. Data from the National Dental and Craniofacial Institute show that as many as 18% of premature, small birth weight babies born in the United States each year may be attributed to oral infections.

You have to invest in your oral health for the overall well being. Book an appointment with your dentist in Newport beach now to ensure a healthy lifestyle.