May 28, 2021
Did you know your oral and general health are entwined? Certain dental issues are proven to lead to specific medical conditions that can suppress your immune system. If your body’s defense system is compromised, it can also increase your risk of particular dental complications, like gum disease. With both your dental and overall health deeply connected, a healthy smile is more important than ever. Here’s how you can keep your mouth healthy to benefit from maximum immune system protection.
Gum Disease and Your Immune System
Although tooth decay can damage your smile, gum disease is equally as devastating. It is caused by bacteria found in plaque and tartar that irritates the gingival tissue. While it’s preventable, at least 50% of Americans have the infection, and it’s the leading cause of tooth loss. Unfortunately, damage to your smile isn’t the only concern.
The bacteria responsible for the infection can enter your bloodstream. As it circulates throughout your body, it increases your risk of several health issues, including cardiovascular disease and diabetic complications. If the infection reaches advanced stages, your body will work full time to try to combat it. Sadly, it won’t be able to keep up, and bacteria can take over your mouth and body.
Promote a Healthy Smile and Strong Immune System
While gum disease is common, there are several things you can do to keep your smile healthy and your immune system working its best, including:
1. Brush Twice a Day
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and nonabrasive toothbrush to clean all surfaces of your teeth at least twice a day. Brushing in the morning and at night will remove food particles, plaque, and bacteria that can lead to decay and infection.
2. Floss Daily
Your toothbrush can’t clean everywhere in your mouth, like around your gum line. Flossing is the only way to remove the buildup. Although you might not feel it’s necessary, only brushing your teeth can leave as much as 40% of their surfaces uncleaned. It’s best to take the time to clean between each tooth at least once a day.
3. Visit Your Dentist
The American Dental Association recommends everyone see their dentist at least twice a year for a cleaning and checkup. They’ll remove any buildup that can irritate your gums while also looking for early signs of certain dental problems, like an infection. They’ll provide the quick intervention you need to maintain a healthy smile.
Support Your Mouth and Body
If you notice any signs of gum disease between your routine visits, like red, swollen, or bleeding gums, don’t wait to see your dentist. They’ll provide the intervention you need to stop the infection in its tracks.
About Dr. Bita Kamali
Dr. Kamali was a dental hygienist before earning her dental degree at the Baylor College of Dentistry over 20 years ago She remains current with the latest advancements in dentistry to provide superior care. Through a focus on prevention, she can help you reach and maintain optimal oral health and wellbeing. If you have symptoms of gum disease, contact our office today for an appointment.