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Can Poor Oral Hygiene Affect Your Metabolism?

July 13, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — bestdentalteam @ 3:06 pm

Scale with tape measure Did you know your oral and general health are closely connected? Your mouth is often referred to as the gateway to your body. Your teeth are important for more than a beautiful smile. They also allow you to eat many foods necessary to keep your body nourished. They grind your food into small pieces and saliva kick-starts the digestion process. If your teeth aren’t healthy, it can affect your ability to eat certain foods, which can lead to nutritional deficiencies, but that’s not the only concern. Research has found that poor dental health can also affect your metabolism.

Dental Health and Metabolism

Teeth are meant to last for a lifetime, but many are lost from cavities and gum disease. Although both are preventable, at least 92% of adults have had a cavity and 50% of Americans have gum disease. 

Gum disease wreaks havoc on your dental health, but it can also affect your overall well-being. The infection is caused by bacteria found in plaque and tartar buildup from poor oral hygiene habits. 

Bacteria from the infection can circulate throughout your body, increasing your risk of many health conditions, like heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and skeletal muscle metabolic dysfunction. 

Periodontal bacteria can increase the risk of insulin resistance, which can lead to type 2 diabetes. Insulin is necessary for moving glucose from the blood into the tissues, including the skeletal muscle. This is where one-quarter of your body’s glucose is stored. 

Insulin resistance can lead to metabolic syndrome, which consists of many conditions, like obesity, high blood pressure, systemic inflammation, and altered lipid metabolism. 

Safeguard Your Smile from Gum Disease

You can invest in a healthy mouth and body by committing to your dental health. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth twice daily. Brush for at least 2 minutes. Floss every night before going to bed to remove food particles and plaque from areas your toothbrush can’t reach, like between the teeth. Finish your routine with an antimicrobial mouthwash to kill any lingering bacteria.

Besides caring for your teeth and gums at home, visit your dentist every 6 months for a cleaning and checkup. They’ll remove any buildup and look for anything concerning, like enamel loss or gum inflammation. They will provide the quick care you need to keep your mouth healthy. 

If you develop any signs of gum disease between your regular appointments, don’t wait to contact your dentist. Schedule an appointment if you develop red, swollen, or bleeding gums.

About Dr. Thanh Mollica

Dr. Mollica earned her dental degree from The Ohio State University College of Dentistry. She is a lifelong learner and regularly pursues continuing education to provide specialty services, like periodontal therapy. She focuses on prevention to preserve each patient’s natural smile. Whether you need a cleaning and checkup or have signs of gum disease, schedule an appointment online or call (216) 284-5468.

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