Maintaining Good Oral Health is Also a Systemic Health Issue

(Credit: Maintaining Good Oral Health is Also a Systemic Health Issue) Maintaining Good Oral Health is Also a Systemic Health Issue
March 11
1:52 PM 2021

Contrary to popular belief, maintaining good oral hygiene isn't just about the aesthetic benefits of possessing a healthy set of teeth. Good oral hygiene plays a vital role in not only preventing a number of dental conditions and oral tissue infections, but also other serious health risks. 

Oral diseases, if left untreated over a long period of time, may spread to your innermost gum tissues and even the bones supporting your teeth and gums, making their way into your bloodstream. Once the infectious bacteria enter your bloodstream, the disease spreads to not only other parts of your mouth but also other parts of your body. Studies have shown that poor oral health may lead to systemic diseases such as:

  • Heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases 

  • Respiratory diseases 

  • Cancer 

  • Dementia

  • Arthritis

  • Diabetes 

  • Pregnancy complications 

No doubt, maintaining good oral health is important if you also want to maintain good general health, as well.

The Importance of Oral Hygiene

Most -- if not all -- oral diseases are caused due to poor oral hygiene or the consumption of tobacco/tobacco products, smoking, and alcohol. The oral microbiome is formed by a sensitive balance of good and bacteria which keep each other in check. 

Good bacteria overpowering the bad bacteria can cause excessive secretion of inflammatory fluids by your body's immune system. In turn, it leads to periodontal disease that can affect and spread through your gum tissue. 

Bad bacteria overpowering the bad bacteria, on the other hand, leads to issues such as bad breath, cavities, tooth decay, and even tooth loss. Furthermore, the bacteria that causes this may spread to other parts of your mouth and damage your entire set of teeth permanently.

The role played by oral hygiene in maintaining this balance is vital. Keeping your teeth clean helps ensure that there is neither an influx of bad bacteria trying to consume the bits of food stuck in between your teeth, triggering the immune system, nor a bacterial colony forming inside a hidden crevice in your mouth, eating the enamel of your tooth or your gums away.

Oral Hygiene Products: An Environmental Approach

This raises the bar for the importance of good oral hygiene considerably. However, an underlying problem in the oral health scenario does not lie in the practices of the people, but rather, in the products used by them. Readily-available floss and toothpaste are usually not only filled with chemicals that may lead to unwanted side-effects or cause direct damage to your buccal cavity, but are also environmental hazards. 

In the past few years, multiple reports about how floss (if not disposed of correctly) poses an environmental risk to animals who may choke or get stuck in it. Instances of animals getting cuts during such situations are also extremely high. In addition, other plastic products such as toothbrushes often become an addition to the tons of plastic floating about in the ocean due to neglectful waste management. 

Substituting such products is essential. With new, eco-friendly as well as 100% chemical-free alternatives popping up in the market every other day, it's about time that the switch takes place.

Toothpaste Tablets

Toothpaste tablets are groundbreaking toothpaste alternatives. Made out of all-natural ingredients, these tablets can simply be placed inside your mouth and chewed. Oftentimes, won't feel much different from conventional toothpaste. Toothpaste tablets contain just the right amount of fluoride that you need in a single wash, and thus, you don't have to worry about consuming any extra fluoride or other chemicals as you brush your teeth.

Another tip to avoid consuming the chemicals in regular toothpaste is limiting the time you spend brushing. You do want to make sure that you brush your teeth effectively by cleaning all sides, but don't wait long enough before rinsing your mouth immediately. Toothbrushes that limit your brushing time are in the making too, with many patents releasing year after year. 

Eco-Friendly Floss

While floss is generally made out of plastic that renders it nonbiodegradable, it doesn't have to be made out of plastic alone. Recently, companies have been coming up with biodegradable silk and charcoal flosses that are safe and gentle on your teeth, easy to dispose of. Eco-friendly floss, as these biodegradable flosses are popularly known as, also come packaged in glass containers to increase the container's reusability and reduce plastic usage, so you'll be contributing a little to having a greener planet too. 

But in the end, no matter what kind of product you use, the most important thing is to keep that discipline of brushing and flossing every day. You may have the best product at the best price, but not using them would be a waste of your teeth and your dime.

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