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Your mouth isn’t separate from the rest of your body, and that means your oral health is not separate from your overall health, either. A healthy mouth leads to a healthier body! And in this blog from Mint Dental, we’ll look at a few ways that dental health impacts overall health, and how maintaining a healthy mouth may be able to help you fight illnesses like COVID-19, the flu, the common cold, and more! 

How Does Dental Health Impact Overall Health?

There are a lot of different ways that your dental health can affect your overall health. Here are just a few of the known links between your mouth and other parts of your body. 

  • Immune system – Poor oral health can negatively affect your immune system, since it has to send a lot of immune cells to respond to issues like gum disease and infected teeth. This may lower your overall immune response and make it harder for you to fight off other threats.
  • Heart disease risk – Gum disease, in particular, is associated with a higher risk of heart disease and “endocarditis,” an infection in the heart that may damage your heart valves, and lead to a higher risk of stroke and other conditions like cardiac arrest (heart attack).
  • Pregnancy & birth complications – Poor oral health in mothers has been associated with difficulties during pregnancy and birth complications such as low birth weight, so maintaining proper oral health is particularly important for expecting mothers.
  • Pneumonia risk – If you have high levels of oral bacteria in your mouth, it’s possible for some of the bacteria to be pulled into your lungs, which can contribute to your risk of developing pneumonia and other respiratory diseases.

Does Good Dental Health Help Fight Illnesses Like COVID-19?

The answer is “yes!” As briefly mentioned in the previous section, your oral health has an effect on your overall immune response. Like everything else in your body, your immune system only has a limited amount of resources to use to fight back against bacteria, viruses, parasites, and other organisms.

So if there is an active infection of your gums (gum disease) or you have an infected tooth, it makes sense that your body would have to send more white blood cells, antibodies, and other immune cells to the affected area. In turn, it won’t be able to respond to other threats like COVID-19 and other viruses as easily.

So make sure to take care of your dental health. Brush and floss regularly, avoid sugary foods and drinks, and see Dr. Marwa Forest or Dr. Keith Schulhof at Mint Dental for an oral exam and teeth cleaning every 6 months. 

Schedule Your Next Appointment At Mint Dental Today!

Routine six-month cleanings and oral exams let Dr. Forest or Dr. Schulhof learn more about your oral health and your overall health at Mint Dental. So don’t wait. If you’re overdue for a consultation, contact our Shakopee location or our Edina location online now, and schedule the preventive care you need for a healthy mouth and a healthy body.