Oral Health and Overall Health
When it comes to your oral health, your teeth, tongue, and entire mouth are critical. More specifically, unhealthy gums can harm your health in a variety of ways. Below, we dive deep into those areas of concern.
- Heart diseases
Bacteria from gum disease can enter your bloodstream and travel to your heart’s arteries, causing:
When plaque forms on and thickens the inner walls of your arteries, blood flow through the body is reduced, increasing your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
The inner lining of the heart (endocardium) can also become infected and inflamed.
Bacteria from gingivitis can enter your brain via nerve channels or the bloodstream, potentially leading to Alzheimer’s disease.
- Respiratory infections
Inhaling bacteria from infected teeth and gums for an extended period of time may result in lung infections and pneumonia.
Periodontal disease can make it difficult to control your blood sugar and can aggravate your diabetes. Patients with diabetes are also predisposed to periodontal disease. It’s a never-ending cycle.
- Rheumatoid arthritis:
The greater the tooth loss caused by gum disease, the greater the risk of rheumatoid arthritis.
- Complications of Pregnancy:
It is essential for expectant mothers to maintain good oral hygiene. Hormonal changes in the body during pregnancy can make it much easier for a woman to develop oral infections. Any infection in the mother’s body raises her chances of complications during her pregnancy. Premature birth and low birth weight in infants have been linked to maternal oral health issues such as periodontitis and gingivitis. Gum disease puts both the mother and the baby at risk of serious health problems.
- Erectile Dysfunction:
A man who has poor oral hygiene is more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction. Chronic periodontal disease has been linked to erectile dysfunction. CPD is an infection that occurs when the gums pull away from the teeth, forming pockets that contain bacteria and allowing the infection to spread to the bone surrounding the teeth. Bacteria from infected gums can enter the bloodstream and cause inflammation of blood vessels. This inflammation can obstruct blood flow to the genitals, making erections difficult, if not impossible to achieve.
Poor oral health practices, such as smoking or using tobacco products, can lead to oral and throat cancers, but gum disease has also been linked to other types of cancer. People with poor oral health are at a much higher risk of developing kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, and blood cancers.
- Kidney diseases
Chronic kidney disease is a serious medical condition that affects the kidneys, the heart, the bones, and blood pressure. Periodontal disease and other infections in the body can lead to kidney disease. People who have gum disease have weakened immune systems and are more likely to develop infections. Kidney disease, if it progresses to kidney failure or cardiovascular disease, can be fatal.
Avoid the serious health problems caused by poor oral health.
The best way to avoid serious health problems caused by poor oral health is to practice good oral hygiene and visit your dentist on a regular basis.
To maintain good oral hygiene, do the following:
- Brush your teeth and gums for at least two minutes twice a day.
- Floss your teeth every day.
- Avoid smoking and chewing tobacco products.
- Use fluoride-containing toothpaste and mouthwash.
- Limit your intake of sugary foods and beverages.
- For optimal nutrition, consume a well-balanced diet.
- Take supplements to improve your dental health.
Every part of our body requires and deserves attention, and every aspect of our body’s health can have an impact on other parts and systems. From a dental point of view, a good oral hygiene routine will do wonders for your teeth, mouth, and smile. And the rest of your body should be smiling as well.