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The Fascinating Link Between Your Oral Health and Immune System

May 29, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — firstlinedental @ 8:04 pm
medical doctor holding “boost your immune system” sign

Maintaining social distancing, washing your hands, and keeping a clean environment are all important ways in which you can reduce your risk of contracting the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Despite your best efforts, however, there is still a small chance that you could come into contact with the virus. If that happens, it is important that your immune system is as healthy as possible. In this blog post, we will discuss how taking care of your oral health can boost your immune system and help you stay well from head to toe.

How Oral Bacteria Invades the Body

There are many different types of oral bacteria. Some of them are harmless or even helpful. Some, however, are dangerous. Every time you eat, tiny food particles get trapped in the mouth. Harmful bacteria can feed on those particles and multiply. Eventually, bacterial growth can lead to dental decay and gum disease, the latter of which can contribute to a range of serious systemic health problems. This may happen because bacteria in inflamed gum tissue can sneak into the bloodstream and cause damage to other bodily systems.

Oral Bacteria and the Immune System

When harmful oral bacteria enter the bloodstream, an immune response begins in the body. C-reactive proteins, also known as CRP, are released from the liver. CRP is part of the body’s natural response to inflammation. Normally, CRP and the body’s other immune responses have no trouble handling minor infections and combating flare-ups of inflammation. However, untreated gum disease can lead to chronic inflammation that increases the risk of cardiovascular problems, including heart attacks.

That is not the only problem with the long-term immune response that gum disease sets off. In effect, the continual invasion of oral bacteria “distracts” the immune system and overloads it to the point where it has a more difficult time fighting off other contagions that enter the body. As a result, an individual with advanced gum disease is at a heightened risk of many systemic illnesses.

Maintaining Oral Health

The above information makes it clear that caring for your oral health is a vital part of caring for your overall health. Here are a few tips to help you keep your gums and teeth in great shape:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day
  • Floss daily
  • Drink plenty of water and do not overindulge in sugar
  • Visit your dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups

The human body is full of intricate, interconnected systems that work harmoniously together. What happens in your mouth can have far-reaching consequences for the rest of you! Your dentist will be happy to help you prevent gum disease and thereby protect your immune system.

About the Author

Dr. Jared Jacobskind is a graduate of Stony Brook University’s School of Dental Medicine and one of the leaders of our team at First Line Dental. He has a reputation for approaching treatment with professionalism and respect. He would be glad to help you care for your oral health. To learn more about him or our practice, contact us at 860-327-5990.

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First Line Dental is a 42 North Dental Care, PLLC practice and is owned and operated by dentists Dr. Samuel Shames, DDM. and Dr. Ronald Weissman, DDM. First Line Dental is supported by 42 North Dental, LLC, a dental support organization that provides non-clinical administrative and business support services to the practice. 42 North Dental, LLC does not own or operate the dental practice or employ dentists to provide dental services. Find more information about 42NorthDental, LLC and the dental practices it supports at