Finding out that your hearing health is excellent may make you smile. But did you know that your oral health can impact your ability to hear? Gum Disease and tooth decay are caused by pathogenic bacteria that can enter the bloodstream and affect a person’s overall wellness. Gum disease can lead to heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic health issues.
The bacteria that originates in your mouth can inflame and narrow the arteries and blood vessels located in your ears and brain. These are critical to your hearing health. Once you understand how oral health and hearing loss are linked, we hope you never forget to rinse, brush, floss, or visit your dentist.
How Hearing Works:
Lets first examine how hearing works, The outer Ear captures and concentrates the sounds we hear and channels them into the Middle Ear through the ear canal. The Middle Ear starts with the Tympanic Membrane, otherwise known as the Eardrum, which vibrates due to differences in pressure caused by soundwaves.
The Eardrum connects to three small interconnected bones called Ossicles that vibrate the Eardrum. Sound passes through these bones into the Inner ear.
The inner Ear contains the Cochlea which is the organ that converts mechanical sound waves into nerve signals using hair cells. The electrical currents produced in the Cochlea are transmitted to the auditory nerve. The Vestibule, with its semicircular canals, is the organ that provides us with our sense of balance, direction, and spatial orientation
If any of these parts fail to complete its job correctly. You will encounter hearing problems. Common complications include damaged hair cells, perforated or ruptured eardrums, ear infections, and otosclerosis.
How Are Oral And Hearing Health Connected?
If you neglect your dental hygiene by not brushing or flossing your teeth, can cause dental issues like periodontal disease, dental infections, and abscesses that can cause this bacteria to proliferate. This harmful bacteria will develop around your teeth and gums; and enter your bloodstream, causing inflammation and narrowing of arteries and blood vessels — including those essential for hearing.
Because the hair cells in the cochlea require health blood circulation, they can become damaged or even permanently destroyed if blood circulation is low, causing hearing loss. Some of this hearing loss is natural as we age, but poor dental health habits can accelerate this.
Caring for your Teeth:
To ensure an adequate supply of blood reaches your Cochlea, you must maintain a regular oral health routine. It doesn’t require much time or effort, but rather consistency. Follow these simple habits and talk to your dentist if you have any questions.
- Brush: Brush your teeth at least twice per day. A best practice is after each meal. Brush for two minutes or more each time using a soft bristle brush. Select the right size toothbrush. Look to replace your toothbrush every three to four months.
- Floss: Flossing your teeth at least once per day is recommended. Make sure to Wrap a new section around each tooth each time. You should use about 18 inches of floss.
- Check-Ups: Seeing your dentist routinely every six months will help keep your oral hygiene routine going smooth. Although routine cleanings and check-ups won’t eliminate the need for daily brushing and flossing at home, it will allow your dentist to provide feedback to help better improve your oral health.
Many aspects of health are related, to preserve your hearing health better, make sure you focus on keeping your entire body in shape.
If you are experiencing hearing loss, tinnitus, or any other auditory issue, please contact Salem Audiology Clinic in Salem, Oregon. With over 30 years of experience in helping people throughout the Willamette Valley with their hearing needs. Our unparalleled expertise in the hearing industry, along with our dedication to patient satisfaction. You can be sure that we are here to help.
Call us today at 503-877-1684 and schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained Audiologists today!