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  • Barbara McClatchie, DDS

Your Oral Health Affects Your Immune System

The cold weather has arrived, and you know what that means—increased susceptibility of getting sick. Total body health begins in the mouth. Prioritizing your oral health can strengthen your immune system this holiday season.


How Oral Health Affects Your Immune System

The mouth is the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive because it is warm and wet and provides nutrients. Poor oral health leads to the development of harmful bacteria. Depending on your oral health regimen, you may deal with a mild case of gingivitis or a severe case of periodontitis. If you forget to brush or floss often, food particles (e.g., your kale salad from lunch) help foster the growth of bacteria.


The five bacterial pathogens that are the most critical and highest risk for systemic consequences such as cardiovascular disease, dementia, and cancer are:

  1. Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans (Aa)

  2. Porphyromonas gingivalis (Pg)

  3. Treponema denticola (Td)

  4. Tannerella forsythia (Tf)

  5. Fusobacterium nucleatum (Fn)


Your oral cavity comprises several different habitats, forming a diverse ecological system. It provides the conditions necessary for the colonization of microorganisms and helps your body against the invasion of harmful oral pathogens. Therefore, if you do not practice great dental care, your chance of having high-risk bacteria will increase significantly. If a bacteria enters your mouth, your immune system will send antibodies, weakening the immune response in other areas of the body. In return, you will become more susceptible to illnesses such as the common cold.


Tips to Improve Your Oral Health

Understanding the importance of exceptional oral health is imperative to minimize the health effects. Taking care of your mouth will eliminate bad bacteria and prevent infections from transpiring, resulting in a high-functioning total body immune system.


Ways to improve oral health and immune system:

  • Brush with a Sonic toothbrush and floss your teeth daily

  • Change your toothbrush every 3 months

  • Comprehensive dental exam at a minimum of every 6 months

  • Ask your dentist to make you customized trays to hold antibacterial gel (i.e. Perio Protect Trays)

  • Take a dental probiotic once a day, such as ProBioraPro

  • Salivary diagnostics

  • Wash your hands frequently

  • Eat nutrient-dense foods

  • Reduce stress

  • Adequate sleep

  • Physical activity


Comprehensive Dental Care in Central Ohio

Taking care of your oral health is one step closer to maintaining a strong immune system and a healthy life. Located in Columbus, Ohio, Complete Health Dentistry offers personalized dental care, from cosmetic to restorative dentistry services. We strive to take a proactive and preventative approach to your health. Our mission is to optimize your oral and whole-body health.


Schedule an appointment by calling us at (614) 412-0916.

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