We’re officially in the cold and flu season. Now, along with the threat of COVID-19, protecting our immunity is more important than ever. Did you know that your dental health plays a part in keeping your immune system functioning properly? Bacteria in your mouth that can cause health problems, like gum disease, can also weaken your immune system.
Your dental health is important for its own reasons, but it also serves as a window into your overall health. When your teeth aren’t healthy, your body will know it. Alternatively, if there’s something off with a different part of your body, your mouth will sometimes show symptoms.
The link between your oral health and your immune system has to do with the bacteria found in your mouth. Naturally, there are healthy bacteria in your mouth. Oral bacteria thrives inside your cheeks, on your tongue, gums, and other areas of the mouth. The mouth is a perfect home for these microorganisms, Healthline details, because it is constantly moist, has a near neutral pH, and a balmy temperature. Though these bacteria can thrive in the mouth, they sometimes find their way to other parts of the body. In fact, they explain, over 24 types of oral bacteria can be associated with diseases and conditions in other parts of the body. Taking care of your dental health can help work to keep bacteria at bay, which is important to prevent other conditions and protect your immunity.
When bacteria has overgrown in your mouth, your body’s immune system will respond. The immune response could be signs of gum disease, or, it can be signs of other illnesses. The overgrowth of bad bacteria requires a response from your immune system. This means, if you come into contact with a virus or illness, your immune system won’t be able to solely focus on fighting that sickness because it is trying to respond to the bacteria in your mouth. This is how your immunity is affected.
The mouth’s environment is ever-changing dependent on how well we are cleaning our teeth gums along with what we eat and drink each day. The British Society for Immunology explains that diseases and disorders caused by oral bacteria are common, especially cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. However, more serious illnesses can be attributed to poor oral health, like autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular disease, and more.
Keeping oral bacteria at healthy levels in the mouth can also protect your immunity so you can better fight common illnesses, like the cold and flu. If you’re not sure how to keep your mouth healthy, Mountain Aire Dentistry is here to help.
One of the easiest ways to maintain your oral health is taking the time each day at home to deep clean your teeth and gums. This means thoroughly brushing your teeth twice a day, for at least two minutes each time. Brushing correctly means gently moving the bristles in a small circle across each tooth from the bottom up to the gum-line. Additionally, you should floss at least once a day to rid your mouth of any food that is stuck between the teeth where the bristles can’t reach.
Another way to protect your teeth and gums is preventative dentistry. Preventative dentistry is when you go to the dentist, not necessarily having a problem, to have your teeth cleaned and mouth examined before problems begin to arise. Not only does this protect your health, but it also can save you from intensive, and expensive, procedures in the future.
No matter who you are and what your health is like, you should be seeing the dentist twice a year for a dental checkup. There are areas of your mouth that you can’t see with your own eyes, which is where many problems can arise. However, Dr. Robert Berry and our team at Mountain Aire Dentistry can see these hidden areas and help catch early signs of issues developing. When you come into our office for a checkup, you can expect:
If you’re ready to take charge of your oral health and protect your immune system, make an appointment with Mountain Aire Dentistry today. Call us at (303)-731-7755 to make an appointment.