A Healthy Mouth is Important for Overall Good Health

Good oral health habits not only promote a winning smile, but also may help contribute to a person’s overall health. Proper hygiene leads to many positive results, including  the prevention of  bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease—and can help you keep your teeth for many years. Research has also found a relationship between a healthy mouth a decreased risk of certain medical disorders. On the other hand, an unhealthy mouth, with problems like gum disease, may increase your risk of serious health conditions such as heart attack, stroke, or diabetes.

The case for good oral hygiene picks up strength as time passes. Being aware of the importance of oral health is vital to staying well. You may wonder why the health of your mouth matters so much. The answer can be found very easily by having a swab of saliva taken by your physician. This simple procedure can tell a doctor much about the state of your body.

For example, there are particular cancer markers detectable in saliva. Testing of this nature can also find toxins, antibodies indicating hepatitis or even HIV infection. Saliva testing is so simple and thorough it may replace blood testing for diagnosing many different diseases. Among the more prominent ailments are diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver or Parkinson’s disease, just to name a few.

You must brush and floss consistently to keep your mouth free of germs. If not, plaque may form along the gumline. This will create the perfect environment for additional bacteria to accumulate between your teeth and gums. This infection is called gingivitis. If not treated, it can result in a more serious gum condition known as periodontitis. The most serious type of gum infection is acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis, also commonly referred to as trench mouth.

If your immune system is strong and healthy, the presence of oral bacteria in your bloodstream will result in little or no problems. Your immune system quickly eliminates them, preventing infection. However, if your immune system is weakened, due to a common disease or cancer treatment, oral bacteria in your bloodstream can lead to development of an infection elsewhere in your body. Infective endocarditis, where oral bacteria get into your bloodstream and stick to the lining of diseased heart valves, is a serious example of this.

In you live or work in the Glenview area, please call the office of Dr. Malik at (847) 724-1771 for any questions regarding how keeping your mouth healthy can enhance your overall well-being.