How Your Oral Health Affects Your Immune System

Did you know that one of the best ways to boost the effectiveness of your immune system is to clean your mouth properly, and minimize the buildup of bacteria on your teeth and gums? It’s true. And in this guide from Rio Vista Family Dentistry, we’ll explore everything you need to know about how your oral health affects your immune system.

Does My Oral Health Really Affect My Immune System?

Yes. If you have a healthy mouth that’s free of bacteria that cause gum disease and cavities, your overall immune response will likely be stronger, and your body will be able to deal with viruses and bacteria more effectively.

Why? Because, like every other system of our body, the immune system is limited. Your body can produce a lot of immune cells like antibodies and white blood cells, but there are only so many that can be made at once.

That means that if your body is using immune cells to fight back against infections and bacteria in your mouth, there will be fewer cells to help with other threats throughout your body. 

If you have gingivitis, for example, your immune cells will spread into your gums to help destroy the bacteria that are causing the infection. Your gums will swell and become inflamed as your body attempts to remove the bacteria. Since more of your body’s immune cells must be sent to your mouth, your immune system won’t be able to respond to other threats as effectively.

4 Simple Steps To Better Oral Health

What can you do to keep your smile healthy and avoid the buildup of bacteria and plaque on your gums and teeth? There are a few simple steps you can take to improve your at-home oral care and fight back against oral bacteria. 

  1. Brush at least twice a day for two minutes – Brushing once in the morning and once at night for two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste will strengthen your teeth, remove food particles, and eliminate bacteria that cause gum disease and tooth decay.
  2. Floss once a day – Flossing cleans the surfaces of your teeth that can’t be reached by brushing alone, and is an essential part of a proper at-home oral care routine.
  3. Incorporate mouthwash into your oral care routine – We recommend rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash after flossing. This will help kill bacteria that remain in your mouth, and wash away food particles that were dislodged while flossing.
  4. Eat a healthy diet low in sugar and simple carbohydrates – The bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease love sugar and starch, so try to minimize your intake of foods and drinks that are sugary, and foods like potato chips and crackers that are full of refined carbohydrates.

Keep Your Immune System Strong With Proper Oral Hygiene

If you want to boost your immune response and avoid sicknesses from common viruses and bacteria, maintaining proper oral health is an essential step. So follow the above tips, and make sure you schedule a six-month teeth cleaning and oral exam at Rio Vista Family Dentistry to ensure your smile stays healthy and strong. Contact us online or give us a call at (619) 299-1122 to schedule your oral exam in San Diego. 

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