Keeping up an excellent oral hygiene routine and seeing your dentist every six months is about more than just keeping your pearly whites bright and beautiful. After all, your mouth is the gateway to the rest of your body. A lot of the time, the health of your smile reflects your overall wellbeing because of the link it has with your immune system. Continue reading to learn more about how taking care of your smile can help you keep your immune system strong.
How Does Your Oral Health Affect Your Immune System?
If you aren’t properly maintaining the health of your smile, whether it is from skipping your dental visits, neglecting your oral hygiene routine, or snacking on so many sugary treats, you will eventually have a buildup of bacteria in your mouth. When you eat meals throughout the day, some remnants get left between the teeth and along the gumline. If you don’t brush and floss, food debris will remain and become the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. You could end up developing gingivitis.
When left untreated, gingivitis can progress to a much more severe stage of gum disease know as periodontitis. This is a serious gum infection that will require treatment from your dentist and some help from your immune system. Your body will attack the infection to prevent it from spreading to other areas of the body.
How Does Periodontitis Affect Your Overall Health?
Your immune system’s job is to protect your body from outside threats, and it will do everything it can to continue to do this. It will focus more on your mouth and gums, and less on the other parts of your body so it can prevent the spread of the infection. The immune system is incredible, but it can only do so much at a time. When it is centered in on fighting bacteria in your mouth, you will be more likely to develop infections in other areas of the body, which will be more difficult for your body to keep up with.
What Can You Do to Keep Your Immune System Healthy?
Here are some tips to help you keep your body heathy:
- Brush twice and floss once a day
- See your dentist for regular checkups
- Limit acidic and sugary foods and beverages
- Stay away from tobacco products
- Wash your hands regularly throughout the day
- Get plenty of sleep
- Exercise on a regular basis
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Reduce your stress levels
- Eat a nutritious diet
When you take care of your smile, you are looking after your whole body. Try using the tips listed above so you can stay healthy!
About the Author
Dr. Rodger Song is an experienced dentist who has been working in the field for three decades. He earned his dental doctorate from the Baylor College of Dentistry, one of the top school in the nation. Currently, he is a proud member of the American Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry, International Congress of Oral Implantologists, and the American Orthodontic Society. For more information or to schedule an appointment at his office in Flower Mound, visit his website or call (972) 906-9797.