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  • Connection Between Oral Health and Overall Health - Omaha Specialty Dental - Omaha Periodontist

    The Connection Between Gum Disease and Your Overall Health

    From the Desk of Kelli Biller

    Your oral health is actually a snapshot into your overall health. The health of your mouth, teeth and gums can affect your general health, causing or even accelerating other health issues. At Omaha Specialty Dental in Omaha, we work closely with our patients to ensure their oral health is at its optimal level.

    How Your Oral Health and Your Overall Health are Connected

    Your mouth is actually filled with bacteria. Most of these bacteria are harmless. Normally, daily brushing and flossing coupled with your immune system can keep this bacteria under control. Not following proper oral hygiene can jeopardize this balance, causing tooth decay and even gum disease.

    Alternatively, various medications (i.e. decongestants, painkillers, antidepressants) can reduce saliva flow. Saliva is crucial to washing away food and neutralizing acids. This helps protect you from bacteria invasion or overgrowth that might lead to disease.

    Conditions Linked To Oral Health:

    Your oral health might contribute to various diseases and conditions, including:

    • Endocarditis.
    • Cardiovascular disease.
    • Pregnancy complications and low birth weight.

    Certain conditions also might affect your oral health, including:

    • Diabetes.
    • Immune System destructive diseases
    • Autoimmune diseases and allergies
    • Osteoporosis.
    • Alzheimer’s disease.

    This is why we do an updated health history form at every visit. It allows us to see if you might be taking any medications that would impact your oral health or if you’ve had any changes in your overall health we should be aware of.

    How To Keep Your Mouth Healthy

    Protecting yourself from oral health issues is a daily practice. Here are a few steps to proper oral hygiene:

    • Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
    • Floss daily.
    • Eat a healthy diet and limit snacking on sugary foods.
    • Replace your toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if bristles are frayed.
    • Schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings.
    • Avoid tobacco use.

    The biggest protection against oral health complications is early detection. Please notify us as soon as a problem arises or at your regular hygiene check-ups. Making your oral health a priority is critical to a happier, healthier you!