General Oral Health

woman smilingDid you know that the health of your mouth has a significant impact on the health of your body? This makes good daily oral hygiene critical as we grow older.

Here are a few key reasons why:

  1. Gum disease, an active bacterial infection in your mouth (also called periodontal disease), is linked to other chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and pneumonia. In fact, if you have chronic gum disease, you’re almost twice as likely to suffer from heart disease as someone with healthy gums.
  2. Gum disease may increase the risk of stroke. Harmful bacteria in your mouth can make you more susceptible to developing blood clots and eventually increase the chance of a stroke.
  3. If you have diabetes, it can be even harder for your body to fight infections. That puts you at greater risk for gum disease. What’s more, gum disease may make it more difficult for people with diabetes to stabilize their blood sugar levels. Good daily oral hygiene and early detection of gum disease are essential for people with diabetes.
  4. Over 400 medications, chemotherapy, and some diseases have oral side effects, such as dry mouth, which can compromise oral and overall health.
  5. One in five people aged 60 and older has lost all of their teeth. Having missing teeth can affect nutrition, since people without teeth often prefer soft, easily chewed foods. Because dentures are not as efficient for chewing food as natural teeth, denture wearers also may choose soft foods and avoid fresh fruits and vegetables. These challenges make it very difficult for individuals to eat a balanced and healthy diet.

For tips, advice, and more information about oral health, visit the Delta Dental of Washington website.