Oral Health & Overall Health
(BlackDoctor.org) — While many of us dutifully brush our teeth two or three times per day (and perhaps hopefully have the habit of daily flossing), do we ever make the connection between dental health and overall health?
Sure, it’s nice to avoid cavities and take care of our teeth, but there are deeper reasons that good dental health and hygiene are important for your entire body and many of its systems.
There are also many disease processes caused by, associated with, or linked to dental and oral health problems.
It’s (Mostly) All About Bacteria
There are countless bacteria living in your mouth at any given time, and while some are rather benign, other species of oral bacteria are potentially hazardous to your health. When plaque builds up on the surfaces of your teeth, bacteria can take hold. As the oral bacteria grow out of control, they release toxins and acids that eat away at your tooth enamel, causing caries (cavities) and other problems such as periodontal disease and gingivitis (inflammation of the gums).
When certain conditions lead to damaged and impaired gingival surfaces, cracks and lesions in the gum tissue then allow bacteria to enter into the bloodstream and become systemic.