Did you know how well you take care of your oral health has a direct impact on your overall general health. You mouth naturally produces bacteria. Some of that bacteria, like strep and staph, can be harmful, while other bacteria is an essential part of balancing the intestinal flora. So, to put it simply: the more you take care of your oral health: the healthier your mouth will be: you will have a less likely chance of having that harmful bacteria travel to the rest of your body, making you sick. BUT, there is much more to taking care of your mouth than just brushing and flossing.
Historical Methods of Oral Health
Natural remedies were heavily relied on for maintain oral health in ancient civilizations. The Kemetic Egyptians used myrrh and similar herbs as antiseptics for treating infected gums around 250 AD. A few centuries later, the Nubians drank beer to help ease their pain if they had an infected tooth. The beer that they drank was only effective because they harvested grains that have the same bacteria that produces an antibiotic we know commonly as tetracycline.
Today’s Dental Hygiene Challenge
In our history, tooth decay was more common and a bigger issue when there were no options for routine dental care, so problems went untreated. Today we have made tremendous strides in oral care. We now have fluoridated water and toothpastes containing fluoride, so tooth decay is not as problematic as it once was. Now, gum disease is the most serious dental problem we have today. About 80 percent of Americans over the age of 65 suffer from some form of periodontal disease, according the American Dental Association.
If the bacteria that caused gum disease traveled to a visible part of your body, you would immediately head to your doctor, but people tend to ignore gum tenderness or bleeding. When those symptoms go untreated, inflammation can turn into periodontitis. The longer you let that go untreated, the more likely it will be that it affects your other body parts. Scheduling your regular exams with Dr. James Wells at Wells Family Dentistry is important to stay proactive about your dental health.
Leaving inflammation untreated can act as a driving force for multiple chronic diseases, like clogged arteries, heart attacks, arthritis and even cancer. Researchers think that inflammation can trigger systemic diseases and even intensify existing ones. If you have bacterial overgrowth in your gum tissue, it can actually enter your bloodstream while you eat or when you brush your teeth.
Keeping up with you oral hygiene plays a crucial roll in your overall health. Taking care of your teeth at home is just as important as scheduling your twice-a-year dental exams and professional teeth cleaning with Dr. James Wells and the Wells Family Dentistry Team.