2552 Patterson Rd., Grand Junction, CO 81505
T: 970.241.1313
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Derek Dean, DDS, MS
Glen Dean, DDS
Grant Butler, DMD

How Oral Health Affects Your Overall Health

close up woman's healthy smile

Have you ever heard the saying, “The eyes are the window to the soul”? Well, we think a better one might be, “The mouth is the window to your health.” At Ruby Canyon Dental, we know that our patients’ oral health is a great indicator of their overall health in several important ways. We pride ourselves on offering comprehensive preventive and cosmetic dental services that keep your mouth happy and healthy. There are a few key ways in which your oral health relates to your overall health.

Saliva

What would you say if we told you that saliva is one of your body’s most important defenses against bacteria and viruses? Well, it’s true! Your saliva is full of antibodies that attack pathogens that can cause sicknesses like the common cold. Saliva also regulates bacteria growth in your mouth by using enzymes that break down bacteria before it has a chance to develop into an infection. Additionally, saliva contains many other clues about your overall health. Your general doctor may test your saliva to measure cortisol levels, protein levels, toxins, drugs, hormones, and a variety of other factors.

First Line of Defense

Your mouth is the gateway to the rest of your body, your first line of defense. If you don’t brush and floss regularly, plaque buildup on your teeth and along your gum line can lead to gingivitis and even periodontitis. Gingivitis and periodontitis are serious issues on their own, but they can also cause life-threatening infection! If you have gum disease, the harmful bacteria from your mouth may enter your bloodstream, leading to infection in other places of the body, including in the heart. For this reason (and many others), it’s important to spot the signs of gum disease early and begin treatment as soon as possible, to avoid a more serious problem.

Other Links

Plaque buildup and gum disease can cause a variety of serious conditions. There is evidence that gum disease can make diabetes more difficult to control, cause clogged arteries and blood clots, and even cause preterm birth in expectant mothers. While we need more research to determine the role of oral infection in these other conditions, developing good oral hygiene habits can reduce their likelihood.

Hopefully, this summary of the ways in which your oral health can affect and reflect your overall health will encourage you to practice preventive care. This means brushing twice daily, flossing, and regular visits to our office for exams and cleaning. To schedule your next appointment or to ask our team any questions about caring for your oral health, contact us today.

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