There has been a definite link confirmed between your oral health and your general health, although most people are still not aware of this fact.

Research has shown that your oral health has a big impact on your general health – at a far deeper level than people tend to realise.

Your dentist may stress the importance of taking good care of your teeth but how many people really take note of that message and actively do something about it? Not an awful lot of people, according to the continued level of easily preventable dental issues being faced by dentists today.

The benefits of a good oral hygiene routine

Taking good care of your teeth will not only reward you with a bright and healthy smile but will also help to keep your body healthy too!

Should you start to neglect your teeth, you are at risk of inviting in some serious future health problems.

Setting up a good oral hygiene routine involves regular brushing and flossing of your teeth with good quality toothpaste and floss, plus the use of mouthwash and even chewing sugar-free gum between meals to help slow down the build-up of plaque bacteria in your mouth.

What is the connection between oral health and general health?

Our mouths and teeth are part of our digestive system. This means that our mouths teem with bacteria and saliva that are a normal part of the breaking down of the food we eat.

Most of the bacteria carried in our mouths is normal and usually pretty harmless. Regular brushing and flossing will help to keep the build-up of bacteria at bay, so this is why it is so important to have a regular brushing routine to remove any food particles from the teeth that allow bacteria to build up.

Your mouth bacteria eat the sugars in the food and drink you consume and will spill out acids that eat away at the enamel of the teeth. This can lead to gum disease, cavities, tooth decay and periodontists.

Developing periodontists can lead to serious infections travelling from your gums to spread and infect other parts of your body. This has a strong link to strokes, heart disease and heart attacks.

Studies show links to heart disease and stroke

A study conducted by the American Heart Foundation showed that the bacteria in oral plaque can contribute to heart disease through blocked arteries. Plaque can get into the bloodstream and can become lodged in an artery in the heart. This can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

Dentists are now stressing the importance of keeping up a good oral health routine to patients with medical conditions that are more at risk of developing heart disease or stroke.

A good brushing and flossing routine combined with regular use of medicated mouthwash and sugar-free chewing gum is a good start, but combining these with regular dental check-ups and booking an appointment with the dental hygienist for a deep cleaning below the gum line can help to reduce or prevent the likelihood of health risks from periodontists.