Your Mouth is the Gateway to your Body

This post was written by our Los Lunas Community Relations Coordinator, Tiffany Grine. 

 Did you know? Every mouth is filled with bacteria.

FACT:  There are more bacteria living in one mouth than there are people on earth.

FACT:  How well a person takes care of their mouth could actually affect the entire body.

FACT:  Bacteria that builds up on teeth can make gums prone to infection.   When this happens the immune system will attack the infection and the gums become inflamed. 

FACT:  Chemicals from the inflammation eat away at the gums and bone structure that holds teeth in place. This is most commonly known as periodontal or gum disease.

Poor oral hygiene is deeply connected to the following:

1. Diabetes  

Inflammation in the mouth weakens the body’s ability to control blood sugar. Diabetics can’t process or control blood sugar very well because they do not produce enough insulin.

2. Heart Disease

Inflammation in the gums increases the risk for a heart attack because the inflamed blood vessels don’t push as much blood flow to the heart and the rest of the body.  Plaque can break off the wall of the blood vessel.  If plaque breaks off it can travel to the heart or brain, which will cause a heart attack or stroke.

3. Problems in Pregnancy

Pregnant women who have inflammation and infection in their gums interfere with the development of the fetus.  The baby could have problems with lungs, heart, birth weight, and possible learning disorders.  Pregnant women NEED to have regular dental exams because of hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. 

4. Osteoporosis

Periodontitis and osteoporosis both cause bone loss. 

Some studies have found that women with osteoporosis have gum disease more often than those who do not. Some research is being conducted that is testing the theory that inflammation triggered by periodontitis could weaken bone in other parts of the body. 

5. Smoking

Smokers don’t realize the damage they are causing to their teeth besides discoloration and darkening.  Smoking causes your gums to weaken against infection. A smoker increases their risk of severe gum disease three-fold.

Oral Health and Other Conditions currently being studied include:

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Lung Conditions
  • Obesity

The Bottom Line on Oral Health

Our bodies and mouths are not separate.  Our bodies affect our mouths and vice-versa.  Brushing twice a day, flossing 1-2x a day, and seeing your dentist for regular cleanings and exams makes a huge impact on your overall health. 

Did you know? People who floss everyday extend their life expectancy by at least 6 years!

Taking care of your gums and teeth will help you live a longer and healthier life! 



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