The Oral Health and Immune System Connection
Most struggle to associate overall health with oral health. You shouldn’t be surprised to know that there is a strong link between the two. Consider your mouth as the first line of defence to adverse health conditions. The state of your oral health is also a strong indication of how healthy you are.
Breaking this down further, your oral hygiene plays a big part in this, because your immune system is connected to your whole body, and if you’re not taking care of your teeth and gums, you’re at risk of introducing adverse health conditions that can cause major issues to your overall health.
Research continues to link your immune system with oral health. Poor oral health links to gum disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dementia and other harmful health conditions.
The Immune System And Bacteria
The immune system’s fundamental role is to protect your body from harmful substances and germs. Antigens attach to immune system cells to trigger defence processes to fight them off. Antigen comprises of one disease-causing germ that is linked to oral health; bacteria. In your mouth, bacteria can thrive in a good and bad way, and most oral health problems are triggered by bad bacteria.
- Plaque Build-Up – When food particles remain on teeth, this becomes a trigger for plaque to build around your teeth. Plaque is a sticky pale yellow substance that forms on teeth with the combination of saliva, the first stage of tooth decay. High saliva production reaps many benefits to your oral health.
- Gum Disease – Also known as periodontitis, which is a serious gum infection that can damage the underlying soft tissue. Eventually, your bone will begin to recede and cause teeth to fall out. The oral bacteria can play a role in diabetes, whilst limiting the body’s resistance to infection.
- Cavity – Cavity forms from high levels of sugar, where the bacteria in the mouth turn into acids. When plaque penetrates in the mouth and dissolves the enamel, this creates a hole in the centre of the tooth known as the cavity.
The Immune System And Inflammation
Inflammation occurs through the gums inside your mouth. This is a consequence of not brushing or flossing teeth regularly. The bacteria then penetrate inside your bloodstream, causing teeth to become further damaged and even fall out of its socket. This releases what’s known as C-reactive protection (CRP), a substance that releases the inflammation and can lead to further negative health conditions.
Strengthen Your Immune System
Making your immune system stronger starts from one place; the mouth. Simply start taking care of your mouth, but there are many steps to this.
- Brush Teeth With Fluoride Toothpaste – Fluoride toothpaste contains properties that help strengthen enamel, prevent cavity and reduce gingivitis. Ensure that you brush teeth twice a day.
- Avoid Sugar – Sugar is the major culprit for a weak immune system and an unhealthy mouth. Ensure that you avoid sugar outright and in meals. You can find sweet flavours in fruit and vegetables. This also contains calcium properties that strengthen your enamel too.
- Floss Regularly – Sometimes, the angle of your teeth can mean your brush cannot touch all contours of your teeth. This means that food debris may still be stuck. Consider flossing to reduce bacteria build-up and to keep your mouth clean.
- Avoid Stress – Believe it or not, stress can also impact your oral health. This decreases immune response and can cause ulcers and sores inside the mouth. More information about how stress impacts oral health can be read here.
There is a strong link between your oral health and overall health, and it is important that you look after your teeth. If you’re seeking further support, or simply want a check-up at the dentist, contact us at Dentist Docklands today and check yourself in for an appointment with our helpful dentists.