Oh, that Mouth of Yours
Oh, that mouth of yours. Did you know that the health of our mouth and brain are so completely linked they are inseparable?
In fact, memory loss, dementia, and Alzheimer’s have been linked to poor oral health.
Maybe we need both a dental & brain hygienist!?!
In short, oral health and mental health do not exist separately. They affect each other in powerful ways.
Actually, true total wellness starts in the mouth and impacts your entire body.
Oh, that Mouth Bacteria of Yours
Just like other areas of the body, our mouth teems with bacteria — mostly harmless. But the mouth is the entry point to our digestive and respiratory tracts and some of those bacteria can cause disease.
Normally the body’s natural defenses and good oral hygiene, keep bacteria under control.
However, without proper oral hygiene, bacteria can lead to a whole lot of problems.
- Endocarditis. An infection of the inner lining of the heart. It occurs when bacteria from our mouth, spread through the bloodstream and attach to the heart.
- Cardiovascular disease. Heart disease, clogged arteries, and stroke are linked to bad oral bacteria.
- Pregnancy and birth complications. Premature and low birth weight is linked to gum disease.
- Pneumonia. Pulled into the lungs, bad mouth bacteria can cause pneumonia.
Oh, You’re a Mouth Breather
Turns out, there are plenty of reasons not to breathe through our mouths.
First, our saliva is important for maintaining good oral health. Saliva helps with PH balance, cleansing, nourishing, and heeling our gums. When you breathe through your mouth the saliva dries out.
Secondly, we end up with more plaque, bad bacteria, red gums, and bad breath. Yuck!
So breathe through your nose! Remember, we do not want those bad bacteria getting into our digestive and respiratory tracts.
Brushing, Flossing, and More, Oh my
We all know to brush and floss at least twice a day, preferably also after meals. But here are a few tweaks to add to our brushing routine.
- An electric toothbrush does clean your teeth better than a regular toothbrush.
- Slowing down and spending a few seconds on each tooth. This is much more effective than mindlessly moving the toothbrush around your mouth. Call it mindful brushing.
- It is also best to angle your toothbrush into the gum line. GENTLY wiggle it, and let the brush do the work.
- When flossing, bring the floss down or up the inner edge of the tooth into the gum. Don’t slam it into the top of the gum between the teeth.
- Mouthwash kills. Yes, mouthwash kills both your good and bad mouth bacteria. Swish this around, Listerine was developed as a surgical antiseptic!
Oh, a Summary of that Smile of Yours
Okay, so quick recap on that smile of yours.
Our mouths affect our mental health, got it!
Then our digestive and respiratory tracts too, check and double-check.
Next, we need to learn to keep our mouths shut and breathe through our noses.
We better take care of that mouth of ours. Because we now know it’s more important than ever, to practice excellent oral hygiene.
Just as the eyes are the windows to the soul, the mouth is the gateway to the body. Oral hygiene is an important pillar of overall health.
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