Oral health and general health are closely connected, and it’s all because of bacteria. Your mouth is the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive as there are plenty of nutrients and it’s warm and moist. Some of these bacteria are benign or even helpful. Others can be harmful, and when they grow out of control may cause tooth decay and periodontal or gum disease. Without prompt dental care, these conditions can quickly worsen, allowing bacteria to move from your mouth and into your body via your bloodstream.
When bacteria get into your blood, it promotes an immune response in your body. This response prompts the release of C-reactive protein or CRP which is a normal and healthy reaction. The problem arises when CRP is continually released because it can set off a chain reaction that eventually promotes other health problems. These problems are not insignificant as continuously high levels of CRP in the blood have been linked to an increased risk of heart attacks or stroke, and diabetes. This immune response can be harmful to pregnant women and their babies, and it has been associated with preterm and low birth-weight babies.
Regular preventative oral care can help you avoid these oral health problems, protecting your smile and your overall health.