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Oral Care: Here Is Why Your Teeth Can Affect Your Overall Health

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It’s amazing how everything is connected. Someone who has hurt their back may experience referred pain elsewhere. A person may have physical symptoms that are indicative of a bigger underlying problem.

It’s impossible to separate our mental health from our physical health, too: If we are physically drained we may feel flat emotionally. If we become depressed, we may lose our physical energy. In a similar way, our oral health can have an effect on our general well-being. That’s why it’s so important that we take care of ourselves physically. Are you unsure? Let’s take a closer look to find out why.

Because It Can Affect Our Self Image

Sadly, some people do not receive the dental care that they need. It may be that their parents were negligent or that they couldn’t afford it.

If a person has bad teeth, or even simply underbite, they may be nervous and self-conscious in public. The individual may be afraid to smile or think people will make unfair assumptions about them. Sadly, some children get mocked at school and are given demeaning nicknames. All these things can deeply affect how we feel about ourselves. That’s why some people have corrective surgery or cosmetic treatment. If having a surgery sounds extreme, an orthodontist Calgary will likely recommend them to try invisalign or braces treatment instead.

Fortunately, people take out special insurance policies in countries such as Canada, where the state doesn’t provide dental healthcare. People in Canada can find special deals on price comparison websites. Folk can request discounts or reduce their premiums if they bundle the coverage. There are policies available that can help with both preventative care and dental procedures. They can help contribute to the person’s mental wellbeing.

Because Some Medication Has Side Effects

A person may be taking antihistamine for an allergy such as hay fever. Another may be using decongestants to treat their sinus issues. Someone may be taking antidepressants to help them through a difficult time. Alternatively, a person may be using painkillers for a medical condition, or diuretics to tackle the excess fluid in their body.

All these medications have the power to reduce a person’s saliva. The problem is that we need it to neutralize the bacteria in our mouths. When it is reduced, we risk acids developing in our bodies that can cause disease.

Because Gum Disease Spreads Its Influence

Gingivitis is the medical name for gum disease, and it can be the reason why our gums bleed. When this occurs we are at risk of bacteria entering our bloodstream and causing problems. It is a nasty condition that can get out of control if it is not treated. The name for severe gum disease is Periodontitis. In such cases, the gums come away from a person’s teeth. The resulting gaps then fall prey to infections.

Pregnancy And Gum Disease

When a woman is expecting a baby, her pregnancy hormones will increase. Sadly, they can have a negative effect on any existing dental issues that she has. In some cases, mothers have given birth prematurely to underweight babies because of gum disease. People with Periodontitis are three times more likely to have a stroke, and twice as likely to have a heart attack.


Gum disease can also lead to issues with rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes. Diabetics have compromised immune systems and can therefore fall prey to gum disease. When diabetes sufferers successfully manage their blood sugars, their oral health improves. Conversely, when their gum disease is treated, their blood sugars become more stable. When gum disease gets out of control for diabetics, it’s harder for the body to absorb insulin. This in turn raises the person’s blood sugar levels. The mouth then becomes infected and inflamed, and the process perpetuates itself.

Because Bacteria Spreads Its Influence

The mouth is a doorway to our bodies, and when bacteria and germs get in, they can create health risks.

Endocarditis is a condition where bacteria enter a person’s bloodstream. In turn, the linings of their heart valves and chambers become infected. It’s also possible for bacteria to cause strokes and to clog arteries. When peoples’ lungs are affected it can result in them developing pneumonia and other respiratory conditions. Elderly people are urged to take care of their teeth and gums, including those with dentures. Should pneumonia develop, it could be life-threatening.

Because One Thing Affects Another

We mentioned earlier that everything is connected. It would therefore be incomplete to discuss the effects of our dental health on our bodies, without saying that the reverse is also true.


If a person suffers from osteoporosis it will mean that their bones will weaken and be more likely to fracture. This could also result in the person’s teeth breaking. Some drugs used to treat osteoporosis can also adversely affect peoples’ jawbones too.


In a similar way, HIV/Aids sufferers frequently develop painful mucosal lesions, which are painful mouth ulcers. More than thirty oral conditions have been connected to HIV, and sadly some infections can be terminal. Ironically, some of the medicines that are used to treat the condition make things worse by drying up the person’s mouth.

Other Conditions

When people develop Alzheimer’s, it can do more than affect their memory. Over time, their whole body can deteriorate, including their oral health. Sjogren’s Syndrome (pronounced ‘show grins’) is a condition that affects the person’s fluid production. The sufferers (who are frequently aged between 40 and 60) may battle with dry eyes and skin. This also reduces the individual’s saliva levels, resulting in a dry mouth.

In another situation, a person had multiple tooth fractures and rapidly developing gum disease. Tests revealed the condition had arisen as a symptom of anemia, and high blood pressure.

It has now become clear that we need to look after our teeth. We should brush them twice a day and also floss at the same time. It’s of vital importance that we have regular dental checkups. This will help protect both our mouths and our general well-being. Should we develop other medical conditions that could affect our oral health, we will be in a better place to overcome them.

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The Rx Review is an independent fitness website, reporting on the Sport of Fitness, functional fitness news, The CrossFit Games, health and diet related information, and also provides reviews on sports performance products.