Are you familiar with the adage, the eyes are the window to the soul? Well, if the eyes are clues to the soul, then the mouth can be considered clues to the state of a person’s overall health! Your mouth can tell us if you have a nutritional deficiency, an infection, or that your body is fighting a serious disease.
Diseases than can impact your mouth and other parts of your body:
Osteoporosis: makes your bones weak and easy to break and can be linked to periodontal bone and tooth loss.
Alzheimer’s: can be predicted if you lose your teeth before you turn 35.
Endocarditis: is an infection in the heart lining coming from bacteria and germs (like the ones in your mouth) flowing through your bloodstream and sticking to areas of your heart.
Cardiovascular disease: heart disease and stroke are linked to inflammation and infections from oral bacteria.
AIDS/HIV: can cause painful mouth lesions and sores.
Pregnancy/birth: low birth rate and premature birth can be a result of periodontitis.
Diabetes: lowers your body’s ability to fight infection which can lead to gum disease.
Bacteria lives in your mouth as well as on your body. This is not a problem but it does mean you want to brush and floss your teeth daily to wash away unhealthy levels of bacteria. Left unchecked it can cause gum disease and tooth decay, which are infections in the mouth. Advanced gum disease—periodontitis—can play a role in disease as infections weaken the body’s immune system.
Dry mouth also breeds bacteria, as the diminished saliva can’t do its protective job of washing away bacteria. Dry mouth can be caused by medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, and tobacco use. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, brush and floss your teeth after meals, and see your dentist every six months for cleanings and checkups.
At Dr. Ronald Fuhrmann’s office, we want to help you keep your smile bright and healthy. Please call us at 757-716-7943 if you would like to schedule an appointment or have questions about your oral health!