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The conditions in your mouth are good indicators of your overall health. They can signal a nutritional deficiency, a general infection, even letting you know that your body is fighting a disease.

Your mouth as a window to your health:

• Alzheimer’s–losing your teeth before you turn 35 can be a pre-indicator of Alzheimer’s disease.

• Endocarditis–an infection in the heart lining coming from bacteria and germs (like the ones in your mouth) flowing through your bloodstream and sticking to areas of your heart.

• Pregnancy/birth–low birth rate and premature birth can be a result of periodontitis.

• Diabetes–this condition lowers your body’s ability to fight infection which can lead to gum disease.

• Cardiovascular disease–heart disease and stroke are linked to inflammation and infections from oral bacteria.

• AIDS/HIV–causes painful mouth lesions and sores.

• Osteoporosis–makes your bones weak and easy to break and can be linked to periodontal bone and tooth loss.

Your mouth, like your body, has bacteria which are fine when kept in check. Regular daily tooth brushing and flossing will keep bacteria in your mouth from overpowering your health. If you skip this crucial part of body care, the bacteria can reach unhealthy levels and cause tooth decay and gum disease. These are both infections that occur in the mouth. Advanced gum disease, or periodontitis, can play a role in diseases because your body’s immune system is compromised.

Dry mouth can also be a problem, because it allows bacteria to flourish. Saliva is your protector against bacteria, since it has enzymes which can destroy bacteria and rinse it away. Dry mouth can be caused by over-the-counter and prescription drugs, as well as tobacco use. To ensure proper saliva production be sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated every day.

At Dr. Bethany Brenner’s dental office we recommend staying hydrated, brushing and flossing your teeth every day, and keep your scheduled dental checkups and cleanings. Together we can help your oral health be as strong as your overall health and well-being! We can be reached at 860-673-7155 for your convenience.