Your Oral Health and Your Overall Health: How One Affects the Other

Poor dental health can affect your overall health. An infection in any part of the body can be devestating, and it’s only made worse when left untreated. Our bodies are made to fight infection, to kill bacteria, and to self-clean. When your body isn’t working properly for one reason or another, these systems won’t work correctly. Your body won’t fight infection properly, won’t kill bacteria properly, and won’t clean itself properly.

Your Mouth’s Self-Cleaning System

Your mouth is designed to clean itself. Saliva is your body’s way of neutralizing acids in the mouth, and various health conditions can cause your saliva to slow or stop production. Even some medications can cause less saliva production. When this happens, you have to make sure to sip water throughout the day to avoid acid in your mouth that will lead to plaque, tartar, and cavities and gum disease.


Just as you hope to avoid the flu during the fall and winter, you should also hope to avoid bacteria in the mouth that can lead to cavities (tooth decay) and gum disease. If your immune system is compromised enough for you to catch a virus, you can also get a bacterial infection (abscess tooth). While you are taking extra vitamins or probiotics to avoid the flu, you should remember your oral hygiene in order to avoid bacteria buildup and growth.

Falling ill can lead to oral health problems because not only is your immune system compromised, but you also fall out of routines when you are sick. You might forget to brush your teeth, or may not feel up to it for several days. This can lead to extra bacteria in your mouth. Illnesses also lead to higher blood glucose which can change the amount of saliva produced, as well as the neutralizing properties of saliva. You may even need a medication that causes your saliva to dry up completely. Take care to drink water throughout your illness and in general for overall health and oral health.

In the same way, if you get a tooth or gum infection, it can also affect your overall health. It compromises your immune system and can lead to cold and flu and other complications. Taking medications for your tooth or gum pain can affect your overall health and if left untreated, may create a dependence. It’s always important to treat a cavity or abscess so that it doesn’t lead to prolonged pain. Your dentist can treat a cavity easily and more affordably than extracting a tooth.

Healthy Teeth, Healthy Mouth

The main reason that your dentist will want to treat your cavity is because bacteria will continue to grow and thrive in your cavity. It’s warm, dark, and is the perfect place for plaque to hide and continue to damage your tooth. Allowing the cavity to remain, can affect the rest of your teeth and gums. Restoring the tooth to health (by drilling and filling), allows for the mouth to return to a state of health. A healthy mouth means a healthy body, and Rivas Dental Care has your health in mind.


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