Oral health is closely linked to overall health and well-being. Poor oral hygiene can lead to an increased risk of developing oral diseases, including periodontal disease, tooth decay, and oral cancer. These oral conditions can have serious impacts on overall health; they are associated with an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, respiratory disease, and other chronic illnesses.
In particular, poor oral health has been linked to a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people who have gum disease are at greater risk for CVDs than those without gum disease – even after accounting for traditional CVD risks like age and smoking status. Additionally, inflammation caused by oral infections has been linked to higher levels of C-reactive protein, which is a marker for inflammation in the body and can contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease.
Wondering what you can do to protect your oral health? It’s important for everyone to maintain oral health as part of their overall health routine. Good oral hygiene practices are the best way to protect your oral and overall health.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time. Use a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste.
Use mouthwash to remove food particles left after brushing and flossing.
Eat a healthy diet and limit sugary food and drinks.
Replace your toothbrush every three to four months, or sooner if bristles are splayed or worn.
Schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings.
Avoid tobacco use.