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            The Aga Khan University Hospital Pakistan

Oral Health - the Gateway to Your Overall Health

<p>​Did you know your mouth&#39;s health is essential to your overall health, life and happiness? Just imagine trying to enjoy your favorite meal, take pictures, talk to your family and coworkers, and laugh with your friends without healthy gums and teeth. Oral hygiene plays a key part in every aspect of your life at all ages because the health of your mouth is linked to your body&#39;s overall health, which includes your mental, social, emotional, and physical wellbeing.</p><p>Research shows that 90% of diseases, including heart disease and diabetes, are connected to your oral health. Globally, oral diseases impact nearly 3.5 billion people, even though most oral health problems are easily preventable and can usually be treated in their early stages. There is a vital need to educate people on how oral health issues can affect them so that they can be encouraged to take charge of their oral hygiene. </p><p>Let&#39;s take a quick look at how oral health can impact our lives, in ways we might not realize: </p><p><strong>Oral Health and Emotional Health</strong></p><p>Poor oral health can negatively affect your quality of life. Oral diseases not only lead to significant pain, discomfort, and disfigurement but also impact your self-esteem, levels of social anxiety, and your state of mind. </p><p>For instance, having bad breath or yellowing teeth can make you feel embarrassed, ashamed, or make you less likely to smile, which can consequently trigger your anxiety or hurt your self-image. This can be quite harmful for your emotional and mental wellbeing; hence, a healthy mouth means having a positive state of mind, feeling good about yourself, and gaining the confidence to smile. </p><p><strong>Oral Health and Pregnancy</strong></p><p>Pregnancy concerns normally include worrying about your diet, getting regular exercise, and keeping up with health check-ups. What you might not think about is seeking dental care, but it is key to a healthy pregnancy. </p><p>During pregnancy, changing hormones can lead to oral health issues, such as swollen, bleeding, and irritated gums, which are often symptoms of gingivitis (gum disease). Morning sickness can also affect oral hygiene, since the acid in vomit can wear down tooth enamel. Sugary cravings are quite common during pregnancy as well, which can increase the chances of getting cavities. Therefore, it is more important than ever to visit your dentist and get an oral exam when you are pregnant. </p><p><strong>Oral Health and Alzheimer&#39;s Disease </strong></p><p>Many diseases are linked to oral health but in recent years, a possible connection to Alzheimer&#39;s disease has also been found. </p><p>According to Harvard Health Publishing, a study has found evidence that the bacteria that cause gingivitis can move from the mouth to the brain and in turn, cause memory loss and ultimately Alzheimer&#39;s. Sustaining good oral hygiene has never been more imperative, both for a healthy mouth and to protect yourself as much as possible from devastating diseases such as Alzheimer&#39;s. </p><p>Maintaining a healthy mouth is crucial for maintaining a social life and good relationships, as well as your overall health and wellbeing. Make sure to get your twice-yearly dental check-ups and follow our oral health tips <a href="/pakistan/AboutUs/News/Pages/how-to-keep-your-mouth-healthy.aspx">here</a> so you can continue to be proud of your mouth. ​
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