This article explores the importance of good oral health and hygiene in the prevention of bacterial infection that affects both the oral cavity and the other vital organs in the body.
Medical studies have revealed a strong link to exist between cardiovascular disease and periodontal disease. Now, if this is not enough to make you think twice about your oral hygiene routine, then nothing will! The fact of the matter is that regular brushing, flossing and check-ups with the dentist are not only about preventing cavities and keeping your smile pearly white. Poor oral hygiene is the number one cause of periodontal disease; a chronic and acute bacterial infection of the gums and underlying jaw bone. If this condition sounds particularly foreign to you, this is by no accounts because it is rare… statistics released by the American Academy of Periodontology indicate that a staggering 80% of citizens present with some form or stage of periodontal disease! And now, with scientific research highlighting the connection between mouth and heart, we are finally accepting that proper oral health and hygiene is as important to our general health as regular exercise and a balanced diet.
Periodontal Disease: Beautiful Smile, Healthy Heart
As it was mentioned, periodontal disease is characterized by an acute (severe) and chronic (over a long time period) oral bacterial infection. But, whether a patient presents with an advanced condition or the early stages of infection (gingivitis), in both cases, the mouth is simply teeming with bacteria! No matter how hungry you were, you wouldn’t eat an old sandwich you happened to find on the pavement. And this is for the very reason that you are scared of getting sick from the bacteria that must be swarming that BLT! You are not alone in this sentiment, but it comes as great irony that the same germophobic people who won’t even touch a stair rail for fear of picking up other people’s germs do not brush, floss and see their dentist as frequently as they should!
The dentist cautions that chronic exposure to bacteria in the mouth can compromise vital organs throughout the body. Not only does it lead to the accumulation of plaque (bacterial deposits) in the heart’s arteries, causing cardiovascular disease, but respiratory disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s and cancer have also been found to share a link with periodontal diseasee! Thankfully, there are things that we can do to keep this terrible oral affliction – and all its cronies – at bay!
Avoiding Periodontal Disease: Measures You Can Take
The dentist has an array of treatments for patients that have been diagnosed with an oral bacterial infection, be it in the early or the advanced stages. However, the longer you leave your oral health to deteriorate, the more invasive, painful and expensive the procedures required to fix it will be! Regular brushing, flossing and visits to the dentist, from childhood onward, are the best measures against periodontal disease. Drinking plenty of water, exercising and eating a balanced diet will ensure that your immune system is strong and healthy enough to battle off infection. Periodontal disease is also linked with tobacco-use, excessive drinking and drug abuse, so preserving good oral and general health really begins with making the right lifestyle choices.