Posted September 3, 2014
Most people think they are fairly healthy. But their mouth may tell a different story. Medical experts say that the healthiness of your mouth could be an indicator of your overall wellness. Here’s what you should know about how dental health affects body health.
Seven warning signs
According to the American Dental Association, oral infections can lead to other health problems. So it’s important to pay attention to the following signals and symptoms that could indicate a variety of medical conditions. These truly illustrate how dental health affects body health.
- Stains– Some of the bacteria in your mouth feed on sugars and starches in the foods and drinks you consume. Together they form a sticky substance called plaque on your teeth. Unfortunately, plaque is easily stained by wine, coffee, tea, berries and some sweets. Brushing and flossing can help remove plaque before it hardens and turns into tooth decay.
- Tooth sensitivity– Eating or drinking hot or cold foods and beverages can give your teeth a zing. If the feeling persists beyond a few seconds, you may have a cavity. Since tooth decay breeds infection and can spread, make a dentist appointment to have your teeth checked. To help kill germs, try swishing a 50-50 mix of hydrogen peroxide and water in your mouth. Spit it out in the sink when you’re done.
- Bad breath– Let’s face it: bad breath is embarrassing. Some oral odors are created by the foods we eat, such as onions and garlic. But if the smell persists for more than a week, the source of the problem may be something more serious, such as gum disease. Don’t let poor dental health affect your body health. Make an appointment with your dentist. In the meantime, try these bad breath remedies.
- Bleeding gums – Sometimes when brushing or flossing too vigorously, your gums may bleed a little. If the bleeding occurs regularly, you may have gum disease or gingivitis. If this is the case, you’ll need to step up your brushing and flossing game. Look for toothpaste specially made to help with bleeding gums. If they continue to bleed, see your dentist to avoid an oral infection that can affect the health of your body.
- Receding gums– Teeth are held in place by their roots and firm, pink-colored gums. Changes in gum color and shape could be a sign of gum disease and inflammation. If you notice your gums are pulling away from teeth, make a dentist appointment. When gums pull away from teeth, it leaves more space for food to get caught and cause decay that can affect your overall body health.
- Tongue changes– A normal tongue should be pink and covered with taste buds. If it’s smooth, you may need more vitamin B. A white tongue may be an indication of oral health problems, such as dry mouth, inflammation, furry tongue or oral thrush. Keep your tongue healthy by brushing it, so it doesn’t become infected and adversely affect your oral or body health.
- Mouth sores– It’s common to get canker or mouth sores. But white sores that last for more than two weeks could be an early sign of oral cancer. Most dentists are equipped to confirm whether it is cancer or not. It’s worth asking your dentist to put your mind at ease. Plus, no one wants cancer in their oral cavity or affecting any another part of their body.