How Oral Health Can Affect Your Hearing

Most of us have had a dentist scold us during a teeth cleaning for forgetting to floss, and they have a point. Besides increasing the risk for infections, gum disease, tooth decay, and more, poor oral health also can contribute to the development of a hearing loss.

The link between oral health and hearing

The effects of poor circulation on hearing are well-documented. It has long been recognized that when blood flows poorly through the body, certain sensory organs can be damaged over time. This is especially true when it comes to the sensitive parts of the inner ear. In the absence of a healthy circulatory system to provide nutrients to the sensory hair cells in the ear, hearing can become compromised.

Considering all of this, it’s no wonder that an inflamed and unhealthy mouth would cause problems throughout the entire body. When the gums and other parts of the mouth are infected with bacteria, arteries and blood vessels become narrowed, which restricts blood flow to the rest of the body. Because of the mouth’s close proximity to the ear, this can prevent the blood necessary for proper hearing to reach the ear.

Building an oral hygiene routine

Fortunately, it’s not difficult to protect your oral health and begin a routine that will be healthy for both your mouth and your ears. To help guarantee your dentist won’t be disappointed at your next visit, be sure to follow these simple steps:

  1. Brush – Dentists recommend everyone brush their teeth at least twice a day for two minutes at a time. This is the most effective way to keep bacteria and debris from developing into plaque and becoming a breeding ground for bacteria. Be sure to change your toothbrush every 3-4 months to keep it clean and effective, and choose a brush that will allow you to reach even the most difficult corners of your mouth.
  2. Floss – Flossing when you brush your teeth is the best way to remove food and other debris from in between your teeth and prevent cavities and other complications. Dentists recommend using a long string of floss (roughly 18 inches) to clean your whole mouth.
  3. Visit the dentist – The recommended time between dental cleanings is 6 months. By following this schedule, you can catch oral health issues before they become serious and keep your mouth safe from infection.

Take control of your hearing health

If you or a loved one has recently been treated for an oral health condition, you should consider making an appointment with a hearing care professional for a hearing exam. Please use our online locator to find a specialist in your area and schedule a visit so you can stay on top of your hearing health.