The mouth, teeth, and gums can affect your general health. Dentists look for clues in the mouth that may affect the rest of your body, including your heart.
What is the oral systemic connection? The mouth is loaded with bacteria, some good some bad. Most are harmless. Since the mouth is the entry point for biological events like digestion and respiration, the bacteria and potential conditions in the mouth are linked with the overall health of many of the body’s functions.
How does bacteria in my mouth effect my heart? Without proper oral hygiene and necessary dental screenings, bacteria in the mouth can reach levels that cause tooth decay and gum disease. The bacteria from these conditions can be carried through the bloodstream and potentially get caught in the heart, causing an infection called endocarditis. Bacteria from the mouth is also connected to other forms of cardiovascular disease, such as clogged arteries, and stroke.
What other health issues can be caused by bacteria in the mouth? General inflammation and infection from oral bacteria can cause numerous issues throughout the body. For example, pneumonia can be caused by certain bacteria in the mouth traveling into the lungs. Some studies have even shown that pregnancy can increase your risk of inflammation and infection which has the potential to be passed onto the fetus and cause complications.
Thankfully, with a healthy hygiene routine, your risk of bodily infection and disease is dramatically decreased. Knowledge is power! Take control of your mouth – your body will thank you.