Keep Your Body Healthy by Caring for Your Mouth

May 23, 2014 Updated: July 27, 2017

A healthy body starts with a healthy mouth. Doctors have a fancy term for that: oral-systemic health. For the rest of us that means that the mouth plays an integral role in maintaining our overall health.

Diet, cleanliness of the teeth and gums, and the presence or lack of teeth play a significant role in achieving optimum health. Brushing, flossing, regular dental checkups and cleanings are therefore necessary for a healthy lifestyle.

When oral health is neglected, bacteria in the mouth cause an inflammatory response. Research indicates that inflammation in the mouth causes a secondary inflammatory reaction in small blood vessels throughout the body.

When blood vessels become inflamed, they permit less blood to go between the heart and the rest of the body, which can raise blood pressure. Furthermore, the resulting inflammation in the vascular system may increase the risk of strokes and heart attacks.


Plaque, Bacteria, and Inflammation

Regular preventive care can stop the oral inflammatory process. Brushing teeth and flossing after meals removes plaque. Plaque is comprised of a thin film of bacteria that adhere to the smooth surface of the teeth.

When plaque is left in the mouth, bacteria byproducts begin to trigger the body’s inflammatory response. Chemicals that the body releases during the inflammatory response in the oral cavity are believed to cause vascular inflammation and serious health conditions in other areas of the body.

Regular brushing and flossing also helps prevent plaque from hardening into tartar (or calculus). The only way to remove tartar is a cleaning from a dental professional.


Flossing is an especially important part of maintaining excellent oral health. Floss reaches in between the teeth where the toothbrush cannot and rids surfaces of plaque and food. The area between the teeth is often where dentists see a lot of decay and damage to the gums.

Gum Bleeding

A healthy mouth should never bleed when brushing and flossing. Bleeding gums indicate inflammation in the mouth. The bleeding in your mouth is a problem and it may lead to more substantial problems that can affect the rest of your body

Full Set of Teeth

Replacing missing teeth is also critical to maintaining your overall health. Many studies have shown that individuals missing teeth consumed less meat, fresh fruit, and vegetables, and experienced loss in total energy because of a lack of vitamins from not eating certain foods. In addition, gastrointestinal irritation and even choking may result, as you are not able to chew up the food as well.

Habits for a Healthy Mouth

Recent trends suggest that people are attempting to live a healthier lifestyle with regular exercise and diet.

Maintaining oral health by brushing at least twice a day (for two minutes each time), flossing, and regular visits to your dentist are also essential to maintaining overall health. A proactive and preventative approach that combines a healthy lifestyle with excellent oral health habits is the best strategy for long-term health and stability.

This article was sponsored by Gallery 57 Dental.

Gallery 57 Dental
24 W. 57th St., Suite 701
(Between 6th & 5th Avenues)