The mouth is just the body part that you use to consume food and does nothing else, right? Recent studies conducted by Ph.Ds argue against that. Perhaps, our mouth may be more associated with our overall health than we think. Our mouths play a large role in our health and hygiene outside of the oral area. In fact, our mouths have a close relationship with our skeletal, nervous, respiratory, circulatory systems. Here are some of the ways our oral health can affect us:
Our Mouths and Back Pain
As some of us may know, different organs in different systems share the same nerve fibres. An example of this is your arms and your heart. If you experience a heart attack, then you will feel a tingling feeling throughout your arms while this is happening. This is simply because the nerve fibres for these two body parts are connected. This principle also applies to your mouth and your spinal cord. Your teeth have a very strong relationship with all the major organs through acupuncture meridians.
Figure 1 Acupuncture Meridian (Source from www.pintrest.com)
These meridians are the pathways that energy flows through to connect to the rest of the body. When you have a poor dental health, then this can negatively affect certain parts of the spinal meridian, which can cause chronic back pain to occur. Some of the issues in your oral health that can cause these issues to occur are:
- Tooth Decay
- Mercury or inorganic fillings
- Swollen Gums
- Improperly Fitted Orthodontics
- Missing Teeth
These issues in your oral health will cause disruption in your meridians, causing problems/malfunction in the organ systems connected to that meridian.
The Way We Breathe Matters
The way that we breathe can greatly affect our health as well. If you were to breathe in through the mouth and not your nose, this could disrupt your catabolic breathing and cause inflammation to occur in your respiratory system, which can cause increased stress/anxiety. Most commonly, this is not a problem, however, if it becomes chronic, then your catabolic state will increase inflammation throughout your body.
Your Mouth as an Infection Source
If you don’t brush and floss your teeth properly to keep them clean, plaque can develop along your gums and teeth, which creates an environment for bad bacteria to accumulate inside your mouth. This can infect your entire mouth and can lead off to a large amount of diseases including:
- Dental Caries
- Periodontal Disease
- Hand, Throat and Mouth Disease
- Canker Sores
These are all infections/diseases that are caused by not taking good care of your mouth. Every one of these infections/diseases also cause some sort of issue/infection throughout the body.
Saliva as a Common Diagnostic
Doctors can test saliva to detect a lot of substances and diseases/infections. Interestingly, doctors can examine bone-specific proteins that can identify whether a person is experiencing bone loss or osteoporosis. Saliva can also be examined to see if someone is using illegal drugs, environmental toxins, or if they are using hormones. Some other diseases/infections that that can be diagnosed from a saliva test are:
- Glucose Dysregulation
- Human Immunodeficiency Virus
- Viral Hepatitis
- Parasitic Infection
- Cardiovascular Disease
So in reality, our mouth has a lot more to do with our body than one may think. This highlights the importance to having good oral health. The most important things that you can do to have a better oral health are (Please take into consideration that these points will not guarantee that you won’t get a disease/infection, just strongly decrease the possibility):
- Brush your Teeth 2 Times per day
- Floss Once per day
- Avoid Tooth – Decaying Substances like Sugar and Tobacco
- Use Mouthwash Once per day
- Clean your tongue when you brush
- Visit the Dentist 1-3 Times per year
About the Author: Rhys has a passion for general and laser dentistry. He is currently a dentist working out of Ontario, Canada. He likes to read books and expand his knowledge on oral health and dentistry and learn from more experienced dentists on how to run a great dental centre. He takes pride in his work and looks forward to what he does every day. Rhys currently runs a dental blog that covers the newest practices, technologies and procedures when it comes down to dentistry, along with some more patient-friendly articles as well.