The majority of people think that good oral hygiene is only useful to preserve the pathologies of the teeth or the periodontium. They are far from imagining the impact of the oral system on their overall health.
Poor oral health can have unintended, but now recognized, consequences for the proper functioning of certain organs and general health. The good hygiene of the teeth must thus be part of a global vision of health. What to review his ideas.
Get to know your periodontium
What is the periodontium? It consists of the alveolar bone of the two jaws, the alveolar ligament, the gingiva, the cementum of the dental root (material which allows the anchoring of the tooth in the alveolar-dental ligament) and nerve and blood tissues. This periodontium can be affected by many pathologies whose final symptom is often the loosening of the teeth. They are due to the accumulation of food debris and bacteria on the surface of the teeth and under the rim of the gums, which, once calcified, creates the “tartar,” in turn, colonized by pathogenic bacteria. The consequences are gradual: gingivitis and then multistage periodontopathic, with the creation of a pocket between the tooth and the gum, retraction of the gums, loss of attachment and bone loss.50% of the adult population has periodontal disease. And the consequences are an increased risk of chronic diseases.
Periodontal diseases and systemic diseases
Periodontal diseases or periodontal disease and wounds and inflammations in the mouth would be the gateway for many pathogenic bacteria that, along with inflammatory molecules acting on the periodontium, enter the bloodstream and migrate to organs, heart, kidneys, lungs, and others, causing an inflammatory process away from the oral cavity. Thus, periodontal disease may be correlated with the onset, progression or aggravation of certain general and sometimes very serious diseases: cardiovascular diseases, stroke, myocardial infarction, pulmonary infections, rheumatoid arthritis, musculoskeletal disorders, etc. Periodontopathogens would even be responsible for the majority of premature deliveries. The increase of certain oral pathogens is linked to the development of precancerous lesions of the stomach. In the elderly, gum disease increases the risk of dementia by 70%, confirming the already well-documented link between periodontal disease and risk to brain health. Special case of diabetes: a reciprocal impact There are many dental complications due to diabetes: dry mouth, bad breath, tooth decay, gingivitis and periodontitis, and even loss of collagen gums and loss of teeth. Conversely, periodontitis or inflammation of the gums can harm diabetes: Diabetic patients with periodontitis have a harder time balancing their blood sugar because bacteria enter the body more easily via their damaged gums and worsen the gums. Insensitivity to insulin. The only possible prevention: impeccable oral hygiene
The dental hygiene instructions are very simple and are the key to good prevention:
- Brush your teeth twice a day, with a soft brush to avoid bruising your gums,
- Think about interdental cleaning with dental floss and a brush,
- Chew a sugar-free chewing gum for twenty minutes, as it enriches saliva with acid-neutralizing bicarbonate, phosphate, and calcium that protect the tooth enamel; if chewing gum is Xilitol, it is even better because this sweetener acts against acid attacks and contributes to the remineralization of enamel,
- Rinse your mouth with a glass of water after every meal or drink,
- Make a mouthwash every night after brushing,
- Do not brush your teeth right after drinking an acidic drink, including fruit juice,
- Stop smoking because tobacco reduces the oxygenation of the gums by the blood and makes them more vulnerable to infections,
- Consult your dentist at least once a year for a checkup and a descaling procedure.
Your dentist does not only support your legitimate concerns related to the aesthetics of your dentition. It has an essential prevention role for your overall health.