While the eyes are called the window to the soul, to Marietta dentist Dr. Michael H. Mulkey of Lost Mountain Dental, it’s the mouth. In fact, the mouth can also be a door! Your mouth offers many insights into your overall health. Many oral health problems indicate or can lead to future systemic issues. Conversely, systemic issues can lead to oral health problems. You can protect your health by learning more about the critical link between your body and your mouth — it just might save your life!
Our bodies are a thriving ecosystem for countless populations of microscopic living organisms — our skin, nose, and mouth are home to many bacteria. Most bacteria living on the surface of our skin is harmless and can be beneficial to us, but it’s still important to maintain good oral hygiene such as twice-daily brushing and daily flossing to make sure plaque doesn’t build up. If plaque builds up too much, it can turn into gum disease or result in tooth decay.
Studies have suggested that heart disease, clogged arteries, and stroke can be exacerbated by oral bacteria. Poor oral health has also been linked to endocarditis, which is when an infection from one part of the body enters the bloodstream and infects the lining of the heart, which weakens it.
Ninety percent of systemic medical conditions exhibit symptoms in the mouth in some way. People with uncontrolled diabetes are more likely to have gum disease, and mouth lesions can be a sign of autoimmune diseases. People with osteoporosis may lose or break teeth because bones are weak and prone to breaking. Excessive bacteria build-up weakens the body’s ability to fight infections, so it’s important to stay on top of your oral health.
Dr. Mulkey recommends brushing your teeth at least twice daily and flossing every day. Dr. Mulkey also recommends regular dental cleanings at Lost Mountain Dental. Staying hydrated is important too, because saliva washes away food residue that leads to plaque buildup and also neutralizes some acids in foods. Schedule an appointment online today or call 678-212-1280 to keep your smile and body healthy.