Dental Health and Your Immune System

Your immune system ensures that the body is protected from disease-causing organisms. The system’s cells automatically attack any foreign object that enters the bloodstream, so it does not spread to the entire body.  However, this defense mechanism is not indestructible. Several factors can weaken the immune system, including your dental health. Observing good oral hygiene prevents that from happening, and getting cosmetic treatments like veneers in Coral Springs can keep you motivated. 

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How Does Oral Health Affect the Body’s Immunity? 

Like your skin, your mouth maintains a delicate balance between harmful and benign bacteria. Your teeth and gums will stay healthy as long as the balance remains. However, when disease-causing bacteria overturn the scales, you start suffering oral health issues like gum infections, cavities and periodontitis. 

The immune system responds by dispatching killer cells to the infection site. These cells attack the malignant bacteria until they disappear. Healthy mouths don’t suffer bacterial infections for long. However, people with bad oral health take longer to fight off the disease. The body’s ability to fight infections in other parts diminishes until they recover. 

In other words, poor oral health makes the body more susceptible to disease. While the immune system is busy combating mouth infections, it will not be able to mount the same response if another infection develops somewhere else.  

Diseases Linked to Dental Hygiene 

Experts link oral diseases to ailments that affect other body parts. These include: 

Infective Endocarditis 

Bacteria from your mouth and other organs sometimes enter the bloodstream and accumulate in the blood vessels or the heart’s linings. This causes infective endocarditis, an inflammation of the heart’s tissues and valves. 

Pneumonia 

Aside from the heart, the bacteria could enter the lungs from the bloodstream. This causes diseases like pneumonia. The immune system also inflames the airways in response to gum infections, leading to asthma, emphysema and chronic bronchitis. 

Diabetes 

People that suffer from oral health issues can also develop diabetes because of their high sugar consumption. Diabetes also weakens the immune system and raises your vulnerability to various afflictions. Diabetics can also be at risk for liver and kidney diseases, cardiac ailments, and hypertension. 

Osteoporosis 

There is no link between oral bacterial infection and osteoporosis, which causes gradual bone loss in the entire body. However, osteoporosis can weaken the jawbones and expose them to periodontal bacteria. In addition, some medications in osteoporosis treatment may also damage the jawbone. 

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How Can You Prevent These Diseases? 

You should never take your oral health for granted. Make flossing and brushing a part of your daily habit. Frequent cleaning removes any sugar and acid residue that can allow bacteria to thrive and create cavities. You should also keep your mouth hydrated to maximize saliva production. Saliva is vital for breaking down and eliminating any plaques on the tooth enamel.   

Most importantly, visit your dentist for dental consultations as often as possible. 

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Would You Like to Know More About Treatments Like Veneers in Coral Springs? 

If you want to know more about veneers and the path to a healthy smile, please contact us and book an appointment. We’d be happy to answer your questions. 

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