Most people understand that what they eat affects their general health.
What you eat is transformed into energy. It powers new cell growth and builds muscle, as well as improves brain function, among other things – if you eat well. You know what happens when you don’t eat well, and probably how you feel. However, it’s not only what you eat that affects your general health. It is also how you treat your oral health. Study after study shows that healthy gums and teeth can keep you from getting certain illnesses. There is a systemic connection between your mouth and your body.
There are bacteria living in your mouth. This is normal. Bacteria feed on particles that are left on your teeth and gums when you eat or drink that aren’t swallowed. You usually counter most of this when you salivate, drink water, and brush and floss your teeth. This not only keeps the bacteria in check, but also reduces plaque.
Plaque is the film you can feel on your teeth. This is a biofilm of bacteria that builds up over time. When teeth and gums are not cared for regularly, gums can recede and begin to bleed. Plaque and bacteria can then enter the bloodstream that has been linked to several illnesses and diseases. Serious illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s have shown to have a direct link to the bacteria in our mouth. Of course, there are many other factors since the body is a complex organism, but it is easy to eliminate one of the risks by simply caring for teeth and gums.
Dentists understand this connection and many take a holistic approach in their practice. What goes into the mouth goes into the body. What we eat and drink affects our teeth and our other organs in varying degrees.
To find out more about the systemic connections between your mouth and your body, speak with a holistic dentist near you.