Did you know that the mouth contains over 700 different kinds of bacteria? Not all of these are harmful, but the buildup of certain strains can become a problem. We tend to think of our teeth as invincible and not take infection as seriously as we do in other parts of the body. But the reality is, teeth and gums endure daily stress that can lead to serious problems both in the mouth and the body if not properly cared for.
There’s a medical term called the oral-systemic link that refers to the connection between oral health and whole-body, or systemic health. The easiest way to visualize this is to think of the mouth as the body’s largest doorway. Infection in the mouth has open access to the body and can spread through the bloodstream. Disease in the mouth increases an individual’s risk for heart attack, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and more.
It’s especially important for older family members to see have regular oral checkups. This is because sensitivity is lost in the gums as we age so it’s not always easy for the patient to detect a problem. The best way to keep the mouth healthy is to maintain good homecare and routine dental exams. That way we can provide any necessary treatment as early as possible and avoid long-term damage.
Do you have questions about the oral-systemic link or dental care for your family? Don’t hesitate to contact us at 865-584-8630.