How Oral Health Can Affect Eye Health
- Author Jeremiah Paylor
- Published December 27, 2022
- Word count 509
On the surface, it might seem like what happens in your mouth has nothing to do with your eyes. However, studies have repeatedly shown that oral health can affect the rest of your body in a variety of ways, and your eyes are no exception. Here’s what you need to know about the surprising link between your smile and your vision.
The Connection Between Oral Health and Eye Health
One of the biggest threats to your oral health is gum disease, which is an infection of the hard and soft tissues that connect your teeth to the rest of your mouth. Studies show that the bacteria that cause gum disease can enter your bloodstream and cause inflammation in other parts of your body. In many cases, this inflammatory response can end up damaging the optic nerve, affecting your vision.
Furthermore, there seems to be a link between tooth health and eye conditions such as glaucoma. Many people notice issues with their vision after they lose their teeth. This, again, is likely due to harmful oral bacteria spreading and affecting other parts of the body, including the eyes.
In short, problems with your teeth and gums can lead to problems with your eyes. As such, maintaining good oral health isn’t just great for your smile; it can benefit your vision as well.
How You Can Protect Your Smile
Gum disease and other oral health issues can often be prevented with good oral hygiene practices, such as:
• Brushing at least two times every day with a soft-bristled toothbrush that won’t damage your enamel.
• Flossing every day to remove plaque, food particles, and debris from the areas that a toothbrush can’t reach.
• Rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash to remove bacteria that might have built up on your tongue or other parts of the mouth.
• Staying away from sugary treats in favor of more smile-friendly foods like lean protein, fresh fruits, and raw vegetables.
• Breaking tooth-damaging habits like chewing on ice and opening packages with your teeth.
• Visiting your dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning.
How You Can Protect Your Eye Health
While you’re taking care of your smile, you should also think about ways you can protect your eyes. Some important steps you can take include:
• Having an eye exam performed once a year to check for any changes in your vision.
• Eating more fruits and vegetables that are good for your eyes such as carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, and leafy greens.
• Getting plenty of exercise, which can help increase the flow of blood to the optic nerve and the retina to keep them healthy.
• Wearing sunglasses that block out potentially harmful UV-A and UV-B radiation.
When it comes to both oral health and eye health, it’s always best to try and avoid problems before they start. If you haven’t had a dental checkup or eye exam in a while, reach out to your dentist or eye doctor today; it could help save you a lot of trouble in the long run!
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