The Health of Your Mouth Mirrors Your Overall Health

Your mouth is a mirror that reflects your overall health and well-being.  It’s also a key determinant of your nutritional status and your self-esteem. Oral health means not just sound teeth. 

But what is oral health? First, the word “oral” refers to the mouth, which includes not only the teeth, gums and their supportive tissues, but also the roof and the floor of the mouth (the hard and soft palate), the tongue, the lining of the mouth and throat (called the mucosa), the lips, the salivary glands, the upper and lower jaws and the chewing muscles.  Oral health also involves branches of the nervous system, the immune system and the vascular system (blood vessels).

So consequently, oral health means more than just being free from cavities and gum disease.  Oral health means overall health in the tissues that allow us to speak and smile; sigh and kiss; smell, taste, touch, chew and swallow; and convey a world of feelings and emotions through facial expression.

Oral health and overall health is an intricate interrelationship.  The health of the oral tissues is indicative of the health of organs and systems throughout your body.  Your dentist can gather an enormous amount of information about your overall health simply by examining theses tissues. A thorough oral exam can uncover nutritional deficiencies, microbial infections, immune disorders and some forms of cancer. Clues to a disease can be discovered by analyzing saliva under a microscope.

Conversely, research is showing us that disease within the mouth-especially periodontal (gum) disease- is connected to ailments throughout the body.  Infections in the mouth are a gateway for disease causing bacteria to enter the bloodstream and provoke a number of diseases, including heart disease and stroke, respiratory infection, diabetes, stomach ulcers and low birth weight or preterm births.

Decay (also called cavities) and periodontal disease are the most common, widespread dental diseases.  They are also the most preventable! So what is the answer? Regular visits to the dentist may save more than just your teeth.  It may save your life! For more information visit us at www.jupiterdentist.com or follow up on facebook at www.facebook.com/jupiterdentist. You can also call our office at (561)-746-8095 and we would be happy to answer any questions.

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