Poor oral health can impact your whole body’s health. As we learn more about the effects of inflammation in the body and the connectedness of various biological functions it is becoming clear that a healthy mouth is critical to our overall health.
“There’s a lot of science involved, but the key message is that a healthy mouth is really important, not just your teeth but also your gums and the whole body,” says Australian Dental Foundation chairman Dr Greg Miller.
This year, Dental Health Week (August 7 to 13) is focusing on the mouth and whole-body connection. Bacteria in the mouth can travel to different sites of the body and inflammation in the mouth can increase the body’s overall inflammation. Six conditions* have been explored in how they link with the mouth:
“It’s not just about brushing twice a day, which of course is a very important message. It’s about understanding how to brush, how to floss and how to make good lifestyle choices for your oral health.
“Empowering people to take care of their oral health – their teeth and their gums – is going to benefit them for a lifetime,” Dr Miller said.
“Your mouth is the gateway to your body and more and more we are understanding that an unhealthy mouth can contribute to other diseases and general ill-health.”
Here’s four easy ways to keep your mouth healthy:
1. Brush your teeth twice a day using fluoride toothpaste.
2. Clean between your teeth every day using floss or interdental brushes.
3. Eat a healthy, balanced diet and limit added sugar intake.
4. Visit the dentist regularly for check-ups and preventative care.
*To learn more about the link between these conditions and the mouth https://www.teeth.org.au/mouth-and-body-are-connected
The Australian Dental Foundation is Australia’s largest oral health charity. www.dentalfoundation.org.au