How Oral Health Can Affect Hearing

Two female dentists showing an X-Ray to a male patient

The healthiness of your body is interconnected. A problem in one area may be related to an issue in a different area. Recently, researchers found a link that shows how your oral health can affect hearing.

The link between oral health and hearing
Scientists report that the hair cells in the ear require healthy blood circulation. If blood flow slows due to inflammation or clots, the hair cells can be damaged or destroyed, resulting in hearing loss.

Good hearing requires good circulation
Hearing is a complicated process. The outer ear collects vibrations from sound waves and sends them into the ear. The waves travel first through the ear canal, then through the eardrum, and finally into the inner ear where sensory organs for balance and hearing are located. At this point, the vibrations stimulate fluid and tiny hair cells that translate sound into electrical impulses. The brain receives these impulses via the auditory nerve and interprets them.

These hair cells are sensitive and can easily be damaged by loud noises, medications, or poor circulation to the blood vessels in the inner ear. Once damaged, the hair cells can’t be restored, and hearing loss occurs.

Good oral health improves circulation
If you don’t take care of your oral health, bacteria can cause decay and infection, including periodontal disease or an abscess. If left untreated, bacteria can enter the bloodstream and cause inflammation that prevents the healthy flow of blood and oxygen. This can cause blood clots, heart attack, stroke and narrow veins that reduce blood flow to the body including the ears.

Take these steps to care for your teeth and control harmful bacterial:

  • Schedule a dental appointment at least once a year for a cleaning and checkup.
  • Brush teeth twice a day (every 12 hours) for two minutes each time.
  • Floss daily and use a non-alcohol mouthwash to rinse thoroughly.

Discover more about your oral health and hearing by reading these blogs:
7 Things You Can Do to Prevent Tooth Decay

3 Ways Hearing Loss in Younger People Changes the Brain

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