Oral and eye health and the correlation to whole health

Oral health and eye health are often looked at separately than the rest of your physical health. While you start off visiting your primary care provider (PCP) for most health ailments, it’s your dentist you see for oral health care and your optometrist for eye care, typically bringing along different insurance cards for each. Yet as oral and eye health issues can often point to a larger health issue, the two couldn’t be more connected to your overall health.

Exercise and diet play a role

There’s a correlation between physical health and oral and eye health. With eye health, studies have shown that regular exercise can reduce the risk of cataracts, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration. The same goes for oral health, as exercise can help to lower the risk of periodontal disease.

Nutrition matters too. Were you ever told as a child to eat carrots to improve your eyesight? There’s some truth to that, as carrots are a good source of Vitamin A, which is important for eye health. Vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc and some antioxidants found in leafy green vegetables are also beneficial for eye health. Consuming vitamins, minerals, fruit and vegetables is beneficial for oral health too, as it can help to prevent gum disease.

Keeping up with preventive care

Like staying up to date with vaccinations and screenings, keeping up with preventive oral and eye health care is key to preventing health issues throughout your body. Neglecting oral health can cause a buildup of bacteria that can lead to other health issues like pneumonia, endocarditis, and cardiovascular disease, while optometrists can detect serious health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure or autoimmune diseases and cancers.

Oral bacteria is typically harmless if you keep up with oral hygiene like brushing and flossing your teeth daily. With eye health, avoid eye strain (take regular breaks from the computer screen) and wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the harmful rays of the sun. It’s also important to stay on top of preventive appointments, like getting a cleaning at your dentist twice a year or going in for an eye exam once every year or two with your optometrist.

Point32Health is here for you

Caring for your oral and eye health can often be overlooked, yet it’s more important than ever for your whole health. That’s why Point32Health recently expanded its portfolio with dental and vision products to help members be able to better integrate oral and eye health into their routine health care for a healthier future.