Feb 14, 2022

How Your Oral Health Affects Your Overall Well-Being

Smile! Laugh! Shout! Enjoy a meal! Live healthy!

Our oral health encompasses so much more than just the health of our teeth; it's a portal of communication, it shapes our self-image and sense of well-being. Most importantly it is linked to our overall health in ways that may surprise you.

Many medical conditions may affect oral health, and vice versa. The health of our mouths is linked to our heart health, our respiratory wellbeing, and the health of our newborns. Inversely, certain diseases, such as diabetes, can lower the body's resistance to infection, leading to more severe oral health problems.

Therefore, it's worth taking a look at the medical conditions that can be linked to oral health, which include:

  • Cardiovascular disease: Although the connection is not entirely clear, research suggests that heart disease, atherosclerosis (clogged arteries) and stroke might be linked to the inflammation and infection that oral bacteria in gum disease can cause. Atherosclerosis of the arteries is driven by inflammation. While there are a myriad of causes of inflammation in the arteries, one factor can be gum disease.
  • Endocarditis: This infection of the inner lining of your heart chambers or heart valves can occur when bacteria or other germs from another part of the body, such as the mouth, spread through the bloodstream and attach to certain areas in your heart.
  • Pregnancy and birth complications: Gum disease in expecting mothers has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight in their newborns.
  • Pneumonia: Bacteria from the mouth has been linked to pneumonia and other respiratory diseases.
  • Diabetes:  Diabetics are more prone to infections. Gum disease appears to be more frequent and severe among people who have diabetes.  Infections in the mouth can increase blood sugar levels in diabetics.

The reasons for the associations are not completely understood and whether gum disease is a cause or risk factor has yet to be determined. What is clear is that our oral health is very important to the wellbeing of the rest of our body. More importantly, what can be done to protect our oral health?

Practice good oral hygiene daily.

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled brush using fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss or clean in between teeth daily
  • Eat a well-balanced diet low in free sugars and high in fruit and vegetables and favouring water as the main drink.
  • Replace your toothbrush every three months or sooner if bristles are splayed or worn.
  • Avoid all forms of tobacco, cannabis, vaping, chewing of areca nuts.
  • Reduce alcohol consumption.
  • Schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings.
  • Contact your dentist as soon as an oral health problem arises.

Proper care at home and regular visits with a dental professional are important for keeping the mouth and body healthy. The good news is gum disease can almost always be prevented. It can be treated and can even be turned around (or reversed) in its early stages. Gum disease can be hard to see. Some signs to look for are: gums that are red, shiny and puffy and bleed easily, bad breath that does not go away, a metallic taste, and teeth that are sensitive. These signs do not necessarily confirm gum disease, and many times are not present or detectible, but every time you have a dental exam, your dentist looks for signs of gum disease. Your dental professional will also ask about your medical history to identify conditions or risk factors (such as smoking or diabetes) that may contribute to gum disease. Gum disease treatment is a joint effort between the patient and the dental team, sometimes involving a periodontist, a dental professional that specialized in periodontal (gum) disease.

Good oral health is a combination of good home care, proper nutrition, and regular visits to your dentist. Your dental professionals are valuable team players in your oral health and your overall health. A healthy mouth is important not just for speaking and smiling; it conveys a world of feelings and emotions through facial expressions and helps us enjoy our food. Most importantly, a healthy mouth contributes and is integral part of our overall health.


Why our patients choose us

Sarah E.

If you have anxiety about getting dental work done, or if you're highly sensitive and worried about pain, Dr. Martino will always make the process as comfortable as possible.

Monica B.

The office is stunning and a great location in central Richmond Hill. Dr Martino (and her staff) are a joy to work with. Also, the cleaning was the best I've ever had.

Andrea & Lisa C

I have never been to another dentist that makes me feel comfortable when working on my teeth. She is very gentle and thorough from start to finish.

Alexandr E.

This dentistry is absolutely amazing. The office and all the equipment is very clean, brand-new, and fresh. It creates a feeling of being at a very modern dentistry. Also, the staff is super friendly and makes you feel like home.

Ray V.

Dr. Martino has been my dentist for 21 years, and over that time I've referred several friends and family members to her. She is pleasant and professional. Wishing her all the best at her new practice.

Janis H.

Dr. Martino is an amazing dentist. She is kind, makes you feel comfortable and always does a great job! It is a pleasure coming to see her and her staff always smiling!

Paul D.

My family and I have been seeing Dr Martino for many years and we have had amazing care & service. This new location is great and the staff are so friendly.

Fernando C.

I have no hesitation recommending Dr. Martino to anyone. She is very professional, caring and gentle dentist. She takes time to explain and suggest what is best to be done.

Alvina I.

A warm welcome as soon as you walk in. Convenient parking in busy Richmond Hill. Dr Martino is the best dentist in Ontario! Staff are attentive and highly capable.

Ioana N.

Always a positive experience visiting Dr. Martino. She always lets you know what you need and we absolutely trust her professionalism. With the kids, she has a gentle, friendly approach. Our favourite dentist for over 20 years!

Let's get in touch!

Have a question or want to learn more? Drop us a line, we'd be happy to help.

We are gladly accepting new patients from Richmond Hill and surrounding areas, and we are looking forward to being the first choice for you and your family's dental care!

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Crafting Smiles Dentistry

10376 Yonge St. - Unit 109, Richmond Hill, ON L4C 3B8

You can find us on Yonge Street in the heart of the Village of Richmond Hill.
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