You likely already know that good oral hygiene is essential for preventing cavities and gum disease. But what you may not realize is that taking care of your mouth could also help you protect the rest of your body! The state of your oral health can affect your overall health; in particular, it can impact your body’s ability to fight off infections and diseases. The following post explores how a healthy mouth plays an important role in immune system protection.
How is Oral Health Linked to Your Immune System?
If you don’t brush and floss regularly, the harmful bacteria in your mouth can cause gum disease. The early symptoms of gum disease – namely redness, swelling, and bleeding – are often mild. However, untreated gum disease can result in severe damage to the gums and jawbone; this can cause your teeth to come loose or fall out entirely.
What does this have to do with your immune system? When your gums are infected, the immune system will send white blood cells to the area to fight back against the harmful bacteria. This means there are fewer white blood cells that can address threats elsewhere in your body. In short, poor oral health can limit your immune system’s ability to handle other illnesses and infections.
How Can You Protect Your Oral Health?
To maintain a strong immune system, you need to make sure that you’re maintaining excellent oral health. You can do so by following these simple steps:
- Brush your teeth at least two times every day to remove food particles and gum disease-causing bacteria. Each brushing session should last around two minutes.
- Remember to floss on a daily basis. Flossing allows you to clean the surfaces of your teeth that you wouldn’t be able to reach with just your toothbrush.
- Once you’re done brushing and flossing, rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash to get rid of any harmful organisms that might still be in your mouth.
- Limit your consumption of sugar or starch. Instead, choose foods that are high in calcium, vitamin D, and other nutrients that can benefit your oral health.
- Have a dental checkup and cleaning performed every six months. Not only can your dentist remove plaque and tartar from the areas that you’ve had a hard time brushing, but they can check for signs of gum disease and other oral health issues so that they can be treated in their early stages.
Taking proper care of your teeth and gums could make all the difference for the rest of your body. Think carefully about your current oral hygiene routine and consider any changes you can make to protect your smile and keep your immune system strong.
About the Practice
At Bethel Dental Clinic, we pride ourselves on providing our patients with comprehensive, personalized dental care that utilizes state-of-the-art technology. Among the services we provide, we offer comfortable periodontal therapy to keep gum disease under control. To schedule a checkup at our practice in Accra, visit our website today.