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Unexpected ways your dental health can affect your overall health

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Not many people make the link between dental health and overall health, but it makes sense when you think about it. Your mouth is responsible for so much, from letting in oxygen to chewing your food. It’s the first step on a journey through the digestive system and it’s a gateway to your body. If you don’t take care of your oral hygiene, chances are you will see it in ways other than cavities and missing teeth. Poor dental health and problems with your mouth can have an impact on your whole body. Here are some of the ways dental health can impact your overall health:

Stomach problems

The mouth is the first step required to digest your food. Your teeth are responsible for starting the digestion process by breaking down the food into manageable pieces for your stomach to digest. If you aren’t able to chew your food problem, this can lead to gastrointestinal problems. A misaligned bite is a common problem that prevents people from properly chewing their food. If you have missing teeth, this might cause you to chew on one side of your mouth over the other. In this instance, you will need to think about a bridge or even dental implants.

Plaque build up

The plaque that builds up on your teeth is the same as the sticky stuff that can make its way into your arteries. A higher presence of plaque in your mouth puts you at risk of developing heart problems, so you should see a dental hygienist regularly to have it removed professionally. While brushing can help to keep it at bay, it can’t prevent it completely, and you may need a scale and polish.

Infections

Cracked or broken teeth can provide the ideal breeding ground for bacteria. If this bacteria is able to build up and reaches the tooth pulp, this can lead to mild or severe infections. In some rare cases, infection from your teeth can spread to other parts of your body and become much more difficult to fight, so it makes sense to take your dentist’s advice seriously.

Breathing problems

Oral bacteria can often be the reason behind respiratory infections. When you breathe in, bacteria from your mouth can spread to the lungs and cause inflammation. While the bacteria might not be immediately to blame, the inflammation can make you more susceptible to chest and throat infections.

What can I do?

The best thing to do is make sure you visit your dentist on a regular basis. A lot of people put off their trips to the dentist because they are afraid or just forget. If you find a private dentist you like with a good dental care plan, this will help you to spread the cost and also encourage you to go to the dentist on a regular basis.

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