You brush your teeth twice and floss once a day in order to maintain a beautiful smile, right? Maintaining a good oral hygiene routine can do more than just that. In fact, it is actually an important part of keeping your immune system up. Continue reading to learn more from your dentist about how taking care of your smile means that you are caring for the rest of your body.
How Does Your Oral Health Affect Your Immune System?
Ultimately, the answer is bacteria. When you eat in order to nourish your body, food debris gets left on your teeth. When bacteria grow, it can lead to a variety of problems like gingivitis and tooth decay. If gingivitis is left without treatment, it can eventually progress to periodontitis. This is a serious gum infection that requires help from both your dentist and your immune system. Your body will attack the infection to prevent it from spreading to other areas in your body.
How Will This Affect the Rest of Your Body?
If you develop an infection in your mouth as a result of gum disease or tooth decay, your immune system will be doing everything in its power to protect you. This means that your immune system will be focusing more on your mouth instead of other parts of the body. This will make it more likely that you will become sick or have an infection someplace else. Unfortunately, your body can only do so much at one time.
How Can You Strengthen Your Immune System?
Be sure that you’re seeing your dentist regularly in order to maintain a healthy immune system. When you go in for your regular checkups, your dentist will check for early signs of gum disease and tooth decay. If you have periodontal disease, there are treatments available to help relieve it.
For those who are healthy overall, small infections often go unnoticed. Here are some steps you can take to build up your immune system:
- Brush twice a day
- Floss once daily
- Avoid sugary and acidic foods and drinks
- Give up tobacco products
- Wash your hands frequently
- Stay well-rested
- Maintain a healthy diet
- Get regular exercise
- Keep a healthy weight
- Find ways to reduce stress
Keep in mind that the mouth is the gateway to the rest of the body. By taking steps to maintain good oral health, you are doing wonders for your immune system.
About the Author
Dr. Dennis E. Stansbury provides a wide array of services at his practice in Tyler, TX. He earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas and has gained 44 years of experience. He is a member of numerous professional organizations including the American Dental Association and the Texas Dental Association. Dr. Stansbury offers gum disease therapy as one of his treatments. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit his website or call (903) 561-1122.