Did you know that the mouth and body have a unique relationship with each other? It is called the oral-systemic health connection, and it is the driving principle behind many general dentistry treatments (like dental cleanings).
At Town & Country Dental, we can help you repair the relationship between your mouth and body with comprehensive dental treatments. Schedule a health-boosting appointment with Dr. Thomas W. Wegner in Oak Park, IL, by calling (708) 383-0330 or by submitting a request online.
If you’ve never heard of oral-systemic health, then keep reading. Here, we tell you everything you need to know about the oral-systemic connection, including how to foster a better relationship between your mouth and body.
What is oral-systemic health?
Dentists have recognized the incredible link between oral and bodily health since the late 1800s. Indeed, many practitioners found that patients with relatively healthy teeth and gums also had relatively healthy minds and bodies. And, reciprocally, patients with healthy bodies and minds also appeared to have healthy teeth and gums.
The medical professionals of yesteryear quickly connected the mouth to the body and the body to mouth, calling it the ‘oral-systemic connection.’ Today, this concept persists, and it has contributed to shocking discoveries about oral and overall health.
Why is oral-systemic health important?
Oral-systemic health is important because it is nearly impossible to have a healthy body without a healthy mouth (and vice versa). In fact, research suggests that poor oral health may lead to or worsen widespread, systemic health issues, such as:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Respiratory diseases (including pneumonia)
- Joint issues (like rheumatoid arthritis)
- Neurological conditions (like Alzheimer’s disease)
- Type 2 diabetes
- Liver disease
- Pregnancy complications
- Metabolic syndrome
- Gastrointestinal issues (like gut dysbiosis)
Experts believe that the bacteria in our mouths travel to our guts and then to the rest of our bodies. As a result, establishing optimal oral health may be the easiest way to achieve optimal systemic health, too.
How do I get better oral-systemic health?
The road to better oral-systemic health starts with lifestyle changes. And, as with most new endeavors, it is best to pursue small goals before tackling harder goals. So, start with easy lifestyle changes, such as:
- Drinking more water throughout the day
- Limiting sugary foods and drinks
- Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins
- Eating more probiotic foods (like yogurt, kombucha, and kimchi) for healthier microbiomes in the mouth and gut
- Brushing at least twice a day
- Flossing at least once a day
- Visiting our Oak Park dentist twice a year
Once you are comfortable making those changes, then try adding slightly harder changes, like:
- Brushing and flossing after every meal or snack
- Quitting harmful habits (like smoking or chewing tobacco products)
- Reducing alcohol consumption
- Exercising regularly
But, of course, making lifestyle changes is much easier said than done. Luckily, you don’t have to embark on your oral-systemic health journey alone. A routine checkup and cleaning with our dentist in Oak Park, IL, is a great way to start getting a healthier mouth for a healthier body.
Enhance Your Oral-systemic Connection With a Dental Cleaning
If you want to improve your oral and bodily health, then give yourself a headstart with a dental cleaning at Town & Country Dental. New and prospective patients can schedule appointments online, or they may contact our Oak Park, IL, dental office at (708) 383-0330 for booking and information.