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If you think that skipping a toothbrushing session or skipping out on flossing altogether doesn’t have an effect on your overall health, you’re unfortunately dead wrong. People tend to isolate their oral health from whole-body health, assuming that one doesn’t affect the other, but this has never been the case. Your mouth is part of a complex set of systems, from nerves to blood vessels, and so much more. Just as many health conditions spread to affect the rest of the body, many oral health conditions, from cavities to plaque, and numerous others, have widespread negative effects throughout the body.

Don’t be fooled by the fact that family dentistry and advanced cosmetic dentistry in Houston, TX, are their own specialties, distinct from other body systems. Good dental health can encourage whole-body health, and poor dental health can cause trouble. Here’s what everyone should know about the impact of oral wellness on overall wellness.

Good and Bad Bacteria

Bacteria has a tremendous effect on the body. While some bacteria is good, like the digestion-aiding microbes in your large intestine, there is also bad bacteria in your body, especially your mouth. The average human mouth is teeming with bacteria. While the body has natural defenses like saliva to prevent infection, a mouth in poor health is more susceptible to disease and other malignant effects of bacterial activity. In fact, bacteria has such an effect on your oral health that many advanced general dentistry professionals will pay close attention to signs of bacterial activity in your mouth. The reason for this is that bad bacteria can put your mouth, and entire body, at risk.

Controlling Bacteria

While some of the oral bacteria currently living around your teeth, gums, and tongue are harmless, there are some very bad bacteria too. Brushing and flossing, combined with rinsing and regular visits to affordable family dentistry offices, can keep this bad bacteria at bay. When bad bacteria infects your mouth and feeds off of the sugars from food residue after you eat, the resulting conditions include gum disease and oral plaque.

But these diseases don’t begin and end in your mouth. A domino effect of conditions can spread throughout your body.

Conditions Associated with Oral Disease

One of the many conditions that may be caused by poor oral health includes endocarditis, or the infection of the inner lining inside your heart. Bacteria that spreads from your mouth and through your bloodstream may inevitably pass through your heart, where it can begin attacking heart tissue.

Other forms of cardiovascular disease, including clogged arteries and stroke, may also be associated with plaque buildup. Oral bacteria can cause infections and inflammation that may cause these deadly conditions. According to the Mayo Clinic, there are other conditions caused by oral bacteria, including diabetes, osteoporosis, and even Alzheimer’s.

Maintaining Health

So, what can you do to protect your body from disease? Advanced general dentistry offices recommend that you see a professional dentist at least once a year, or even twice if you suffer from oral health conditions like cavities. Affordable family dentistry makes it easy for you to get the treatment that you need in order to stay healthy, and to protect your family as well by taking them to appointments. From family dentistry to advanced cosmetic dentistry in Houston, TX, protecting your body means seeing a professional for diagnosis and treatment recommendations.