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You know that it’s important to take care of your mouth. Good oral hygiene leads to a healthy mouth, and a healthy smile has many benefits. It makes you look better, improves the impression you make on other people, and may even enhance your career opportunities. Did you know, though, that the health of your mouth is connected to the overall health of your body?

Mouth bacteria can impact bodily health. Heart disease, clogged arteries, and stroke may be related to inflammation and infections caused by oral bacteria. Endocarditis, an infection of the inner lining of the heart’s chambers or valves, can occur because of mouth bacteria that’s spread through the bloodstream. Periodontitis has been linked to pregnancy and birth complications, including premature birth and low birth weight, and it’s also connected to diabetes. Further, if the bacteria in your mouth is pulled into your lungs, it can cause pneumonia and other respiratory diseases.

Conditions that affect other parts of your body can also affect your mouth. For example, even as diabetes is exacerbated by gingivitis, diabetes can also raise the risk of periodontal disease, making the relationship between the two conditions truly bidirectional. Osteoporosis weakens your bones, and it also causes tooth loss and bone loss in the jaw. HIV and AIDS can cause painful lesions in the mouth. People with asthma are at higher risk for dry mouth, which can cause bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease.

Some risk factors for dental problems are within your control. Stress and substance abuse, for instance, impact your oral health. So does an unhealthy lifestyle, especially if you’re sedentary and have poor dietary habits.

How can you protect your oral health and, by extension, the health of your entire body? Start by taking care of your teeth by brushing and flossing regularly. Eat well, exercise, and try to reduce stress, as part of a healthy lifestyle that protects your teeth and the rest of your body. It’s also important to have regular dental checkups so that your dentist can catch any issues early and prevent them from causing further problems.

Are you looking for dental care in the Boston area? At Belmont Dental Group, our team of dentists provides personalized and gentle dental care, backed up by more than 25 years of experience. We believe in open, honest communication, and encourage our patients to ask questions and learn all they can about different treatment options and make informed decisions. Our practice covers all phases of dentistry from teeth cleaning to cosmetic dentistry to emergency care, and we’re committed to helping patients become partners in their own dental health. We always have your best interests in mind and will use our training and technology to benefit you and your family. If you’re looking for quality dental services and personalized care in an atmosphere of trust, call (617) 484-2431 or contact us through our website to learn more.