We have all heard it before: care for our teeth, brush and floss, use mouthwash daily!
But did you know that oral health can also be correlated with heart health, joint health and even hearing health?
Is Hearing Linked to Oral Health?
There isn’t yet a lot of research on this topic, but it has been found that poor oral health can raise inflammation throughout the body.
Inflamed gums have been correlated with arthritis or even clogged arteries. The bacteria in our mouths can build up and start to travel to other parts of our bodies. Our immune systems then respond by increasing inflammation in other areas of the body to combat the invader. Blood circulation can decrease as a result, and we know blood flow is key to maintaining good hearing, especially as we age.
If you didn’t already know that there is a strong connection between blood flow and hearing loss, you do now. Research has found strong links between these two things.
The tiny, delicate organs and hair cells in the inner ear rely on good blood circulation to function. If blood flow is suppressed these tiny parts can die or malfunction, resulting in hearing loss. These tiny hair cells in the inner ear are crucial for hearing function because they pick up the vibrations of sound and help to translate those sounds into meaning for the brain. Restricted blood flow to this area can result in diminished hearing over time.
What You Can Do To Protect Your Hearing
The more we learn, the more we can see that every part of our bodies is connected, and every part affects every other part.
Oral health impacts overall health and vice versa. This means taking care of oral health and overall health will impact the other systems of your body, including hearing health and ability.
Here are a few tips to keep your mouth healthy:
- Visit your dentist twice a year for your regular maintenance like checkup and deep cleanings. Your dentist can keep tabs on oral health and anything of concern while you are there.
- Take the time and effort to brush your teeth twice a day. Daily brushing maintains the balance of bacteria in your mouth and remove buildup from food and drink.
- Always floss! Remove trapped food from between teeth and always use a new section of floss for each tooth to avoid bacteria transfer. Watch for bleeding or pain, as that is a sign of inflammation and something that may be going on. If bleeding or pain persists with flossing, visit your dentist to see what is causing it.
- Regularly change out your toothbrushes. As the bristles wear down on our toothbrushes, they become less effective. Regularly replacing your toothbrush is an easy, inexpensive way to ensure optimal dental health.
- Stay hydrated with lots of pure water! Water washes away food, balances pH, and maintains saliva in the mouth. Our saliva is our best tool to keep oral bacteria in check
We are learning more every day about how important the health of our mouths are to the rest of our bodies. Good oral health can reduce inflammation throughout your body and may be also protect against hearing loss.
If you suspect any level of hearing loss, or even if you don’t (because it is gradual and you may not notice at first!), be sure to book an annual hearing screening today.
The first step to halting hearing loss and preventing further damage is to recognize your situation. Come in today for a hearing screening and formulate a strategy to train your brain to listen actively and effectively.
Diablo Hearing Services 2301 Camino Ramon, STE 106 San Ramon (925) 394-4646