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How Does Dental Hygiene Affect Your Overall Health?

By brushing and flossing each day you can help prevent serious conditions from developing. Here, our Newmarket dentists share some information about how your dental hygiene habits can have an effect on your overall health.

Practicing good oral hygiene is one reasonably reliable predictor of better dental health outcomes. Good oral hygiene habits can help you protect your dental health well into old age. This can not only prevent serious diseases but also allow you to keep your natural teeth into old age.

How to Increase Your Salivary Flow

Your doctor or dentist is able to use your saliva to help diagnose a variety of diseases before you even begin to show any symptoms.

In addition, saliva can help disable bacteria and viruses before they enter your system. Your body uses saliva to help keep disease-causing organisms from entering the body.

Saliva contains antibodies that attack viral pathogens, such as the common cold and even HIV. It also contains enzymes that destroy bacteria in several different ways, for instance by degrading bacterial membranes, disrupting vital bacterial enzyme systems, and inhibiting the growth and metabolism of some bacteria.

Keeping your salivary flow healthy is quite easy for most people. You can help keep your salivary flow up by drinking lots of water and staying hydrated.

Preventing Dental Plaque & Oral Infections

The bacteria in your mouth are plentiful and they all have one goal - to invade your bloodstream. They appear in the form of a white sticky substance that covers your teeth.

In order to clear away this bacteria you will need to keep up with daily brushing and flossing. If you do not then you run the risk of developing early-stage gum disease which is also known as gingivitis. Left unchecked, gingivitis can lead to a more serious infection called periodontitis (gum disease).

If you have periodontitis, simply undergoing a dental treatment or just brushing your teeth can provide a port of entry for the abundant bacteria in your mouth to enter your bloodstream.

While those with a healthy immune system may not experience severe complications, it can still be serious. However, if it has been weakened, for example by a disease or by cancer treatment, oral bacteria in your bloodstream may cause you to develop an infection in another part of your body.

Infective endocarditis, which is when oral bacteria enter the bloodstream and stick to the lining of diseased heart valves, is an example of this.

How Plaque Build-Up Affects Your Health

Having a healthy mouth may help you ward off certain diseases and medical problems such as stroke, heart attack, complications related to diabetes, and even pre-term labour.

Insulin Resistant Diabetes

Chronic gum disease may make diabetes more difficult to control. When you experience gum disease it can cause resistance to the insulin needed to control your blood sugar.

Cardiovascular Disease

Bacteria in the mouth may cause inflammation throughout the body, including the arteries, meaning gingivitis may play a role in clogged arteries and blood clots.

In addition, gum disease and tooth loss may contribute to the development of plaques in the carotid artery.

Would you like to come in for a routine exam or dental cleaning? Contact our Newmarket dentists to request an appointment today.

New Patients Always Welcome

Looking for a dentist in Newmarket? We're happily accepting new patients at our dental clinic! Contact us to get started today. 

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