With the current COVID-19 pandemic spreading throughout the globe, many people are concerned about contracting the virus. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that your immune system is as strong as possible by eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and getting a good night’s sleep. But there’s something else you can do to boost your immune system – make sure that you are in good oral health!
Most of us don’t like to spend a lot of time thinking about it, but our mouths are home to a lot of bacteria. If it isn’t removed on a regular basis through a daily oral hygiene routine and regular trips to the dentist, that bacteria can lead to tooth decay and gum disease – inflammatory conditions. And the worse these inflammatory conditions become, the more likely it is that bad bacteria will travel from our mouths to the rest of the body via the bloodstream. Once that happens, your immune system sets into motion, beginning with your liver releasing CRP (C-reactive protein). If this happens repeatedly for an extended period of time, it can result in other health conditions as well. In fact, high levels of CRP in a person’s bloodstream increase the chances of heart disease and strokes, to name just two. And it compromises your immune system, making you more susceptible to contagious diseases like COVID-19.
Fortunately, there is an easy solution. You can avoid these problems altogether simply by practicing a good oral hygiene routine at home every day and visiting your dentist on a regular basis for oral exams and professional cleanings. The daily minimum routine should consist of brushing twice a day for about two minutes each time, and flossing at least once a day. To “up the ante” on your hygiene routine, incorporate use of a water flosser once a day. These instruments are effective at removing food particles left behind by normal brushing and flossing. You might also consider using an anti-bacterial mouthwash once or twice a day, after brushing and flossing.
And, of course, regular trips to the dentist are a must in order to enjoy good oral health. No matter how diligent you are about your at-home oral hygiene routine, you’ll never be able to remove all the plaque and tartar that accumulate on the tooth surface without the help of a trained hygienist. And it’s that buildup that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease, which – as we’ve described above – effects your immune system. If you’re trying to stay safe and healthy, take good care of your teeth and gums!