Have you ever noticed that when you’re tired your head hurts, your joints feel stiff, and everything just seems more difficult? What about when you’re hungry and your head and stomach ache and you feel dizzy? Our bodies have countless ways of letting us know that the care we give one part of our body effects our overall health. It stands to reason that taking good care of your oral health will improve your whole body health, and recent studies show that a healthy smile may just indicate a healthy body. Outstanding dental health starts with a thorough at-home care routine and twice annual visits to the dental practice of Dr. Monica Boehmer. Call our Albuquerque, NM office to schedule your checkup and get on track for better overall health.
Albuquerque General Dentist, Dr. Monica Boehmer, Explains the Mouth-Body Connection
If your head hurts when you’re hungry, can your stomach hurt when your tooth decays? In short, yes. Infection or bacterial build up in the mouth can have detrimental effects on the entire body. This is especially true for people with weakened immune systems including those who suffer from chronic illness, the very old, and the very young. However, studies show that even healthy patients may experience adverse consequences from poor oral health. To maintain superior dental health, start with the basics:
- Brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day
- Floss between and around teeth once each day
- Skip between meal snacks, sugary or acidic foods and beverages, and increase water intake
- Visit Dr. Boehmer twice a year
Even seemingly harmless dental health concerns can become serious health risks. For instance, gum disease, which effects more than half of US adults, has been linked to numerous systemic illnesses. Gum disease occurs when plaque (a sticky, acidic combination of sugars and bacteria) hardens on teeth forming calculus that irritates sensitive gum tissue. Left untreated, this mild irritation often referred to as gingivitis, can develop into a more severe form of periodontal (gum) disease, periodontitis. Some system and chronic illnesses associated with periodontitis include:
Cardiovascular disease – Fatty deposits from plaque can enter the blood stream through sores on the gums. Once in the blood stream, these plaque deposits may lead to blood clots, arrhythmia, or stroke.
Diabetes – Patients with diabetes have a weakened immune response. Like other sores or illnesses, gum disease is much more difficult to heal in diabetics whose bodies do not correctly utilize various necessary nutrients weakening immune response. Diabetics with gum disease experience decreased insulin production and processing which further weakens their immune system. This can be a vicious cycle, but in most cases, treating either problem will improve both health concerns.
Pre-term & low-weight birth – Hormonal fluctuations in the pregnant body often lead to a type of gum disease referred to as pregnancy gingivitis. More than 50% of women with advanced pregnancy gingivitis experience low-weight or pre-term birth. While gum disease hasn’t been identified as directly causing these problematic births, the frequent correlation has inspired additional research.
Call Your Albuquerque Family Dentist – Dr. Monica Boehmer
You and your loved ones deserve to be happy, healthy, and retain a beautiful, natural smile for life. At the Albuquerque family dental practice of Dr. Boehmer, we strive to help every patient achieve and maintain an optimal level of oral health. If you want to improve your smile, call to schedule an appointment today. Our Albuquerque, NM dental practice welcomes patients form nearby Rio Rancho, Placitas, Santa Fe, Edgewood, Los Lunas, and Belen.