Metabolism refers to a series of chemical reactions that occur in the cells of living organisms to sustain life. These chemical processes turn the calories you eat into fuel that keeps you alive, which is why people often associate metabolism with weight. Age is one factor that gradually affects your metabolism—did you know that oral health is another one? Read along to find out how poor oral hygiene can negatively impact your metabolism.
How Does Oral Health Relate to Metabolism?
Although it may not seem obvious, there is a strong connection between oral and overall health. A growing body of evidence points to a link between oral inflammation and metabolic syndrome. Researchers from Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) discovered that periodontal disease causes skeletal muscle metabolic dysfunction, the precursor to metabolic syndrome, by altering the composition of the gut microbiome. In a nutshell, gum disease has proven to be a significant risk factor for metabolic syndrome.
What is Metabolic Syndrome?
Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions that increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. It occurs when the body develops insulin resistance. Insulin is essential to cell function—losing the ability to use it effectively can lead to several systemic health issues.
Symptoms associated with metabolic syndrome include:
- Increased blood pressure
- Visibly large waist circumference
- High blood sugar
- Abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels
How Can I Prevent Gum Disease?
Following precautions to prevent periodontal disease can reduce your chances of developing metabolic syndrome. Here are some tips to keep your gums healthy:
- Practice good oral hygiene. Make sure you are brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily. It helps keep the bacteria in your mouth at a minimum, preventing buildup and inflammation.
- Don’t forget to clean your tongue! Bacteria can collect on your it as well. Use a toothbrush or tongue scraper to gently clean it every time you brush.
- Limit sugary and acidic foods. Overconsumption of sweet or acidic foods and drinks can erode your enamel, leading to tooth decay. If you indulge in soda, juice, or a sports drink, you can minimize contact by using a straw and drinking quickly rather than sipping.
- Regularly visit your dentist. Going to routine cleanings and checkups is critical to keep your dental health in its best shape. Your dentist can detect early signs of gum disease and offer treatment before it progresses.
As you can see, taking good care of your teeth and gums can benefit more than just your mouth. By doing your part to keep your smile healthy, your body will thank you!
About the Practice
Maxwello Dental & Orthodontics practice modern dentistry with old-fashioned values. Our dental team only uses the latest technology, equipment, and techniques, while keeping our personal touch. We care about more than just your teeth—we care about your body too. With routine visits, we can monitor your gums and keep them healthy to reduce your risk of metabolic syndrome. To schedule a checkup, visit our website or call (713) 436-2522.