Dental Causes Of Health Problems

The human body is increasingly being thought of as not a combination of separate parts with various individualized diseases (although there certainly are examples of this), but as an interconnected system with an overall immune system that regulates everything. Diseases are now seen as symptoms of larger problems, and medicine is more and more going the path of prevention instead of intervention.

The oral biome

Dental ills have an effect on the rest of the body as well. The bacteria that live in the mouth are present elsewhere, particularly along the digestive tract, and a proliferation of them in the mouth can result in a proliferation elsewhere in the body as well. By travelling down with food when it is swallowed, or through the bloodstream, bacteria living in the mouth can get anywhere within the body, and thus can be responsible for a number of problems in a number of different organs. It is thus very important to maintain good oral hygiene. 

Aiding and abetting

While the oral microbes are only sometimes the direct cause of a problem elsewhere, they mostly contribute to existing problems, making them more severe and reducing the chances of the body being able to withstand the attacks against it. For instance, bacteria that is swallowed can irritate the bowels, and can weaken the immune system which contributes to the development of  ulcers. The plaque that is found in the arteries of the heart during surgeries to relieve patients suffering from atherosclerosis usually is entirely made of, or is largely the same as the bacterial cultures living in the mouth and gingiva. Bacteria live in and creates a sticky substance called a biofilm which hardens and dries into plaque, and this stuff is a problem no matter what part of the body it is in, as it is acidic, is an irritant, and clogs up passageways like veins, bowels and arteries, and of course causes cavities as well. 

Breaking up biofilm

There are some easy steps that you can take to limit the amount of harm your oral microbes may do to the rest of your body. While these steps do not constitute a cure for the problem of malignant bacteria, they certainly can help maintain and deal them. 

1) Rinse

After eating food, particularly after sweets, snacks and sugary foods, it is good to rinse your mouth out. This will break up the biofilm that will have thickened as a result of the bacteria in your mouth getting fed carbohydrates. If you can, brush your teeth after your midday meal or after supper if you skip lunch. Using mouthwash to rinse is also a good idea, but don’t overdo it, as it can dry out the mucus membranes in your mouth. 

2) Brush, floss, mouthwash

When brushing your teeth, be circumspect, and make sure you use floss to get the plaque out from between your teeth. The hard to reach places are where bacteria are given a chance to proliferate and form plaque. Mouthwash is also very effective at killing bacteria, and can get in between really difficult places where dental floss and toothbrushes may not be able to.

3) Half year checkups

Half year checkups to your dentist are very important, even if you do not have anything wrong with your teeth. Your dentist can give you a hygiene session and a root planning, which removes bacteria from beneath your gums, another favorite hiding place. It is important to get this done every once in a while, as this buildup can travel easily through the capillaries and into other organs.       

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