7 ways in which your dental health affects your general health
Good oral health is not just important for your teeth and gums; it’s important for your general wellbeing.
While poor dental care leads to cavities, did you know that other and more serious health problems can also result from bad oral hygiene? Bacteria in the mouth can travel throughout the body and cause a number of health problems that you may not even have thought of.
Heart Disease and Stroke
Poor oral health and in particular, periodontal disease – gum disease – has been linked to heart disease, clogged arteries, and stroke. Studies have shown that people with moderate or advanced gum disease are more likely to have heart disease than those with healthy gums. The bacteria from gum inflammation can enter your blood and travel to the arteries in the heart and cause hardening of the arteries.
The link between gum disease and diabetes appears to be a two-way street. Inflammation of the gums can aggravate the symptoms of diabetes and make it harder to control your blood sugar levels. At the same time, individuals suffering from diabetes are also more susceptible to periodontal disease, making proper dental care even more important for those with this disease.
Growing Risk of Dementia
Poor dental health is a risk factor for memory loss and has even been linked to the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Inflammatory substances from infections in the mouth can enter nerve channels or the bloodstream and can increase the risk of brain inflammation causing brain cell damaging.
When bacteria from oral inflammation travel through your blood to the lungs, it can irritate respiratory systems and exacerbate the symptoms of those patients already suffering respiratory problems. Both pneumonia and bronchitis have been linked to gum disease.
Men with periodontal disease are seven times more likely to experience erectile dysfunction than men with a healthy mouth and good dental hygiene. Periodontal bacteria can enter the bloodstream, inflaming blood vessels and thereby blocking the flow to the genitals.
Risk of Pregnancy Problems and Premature Birth
Poor dental care has also been linked to problems with pregnancy, low birth weight and premature birth. Premature babies face a number of problems including breathing issues and infections.
Researchers have found that individuals with periodontal disease are more likely to develop cancer. In fact, you may be 11 times more likely to develop breast cancer or 54% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer if you have poor oral health or gum disease. Unsurprisingly, a visit to the dentist can also discover early signs of oral cancers – another reason for particularly smokers to go to the dentist.
Stay on top of your health with Smile Perfection
While we all know brushing and flossing keep your smile healthy, it’s also quite obvious now that is contributes to the rest of your physical health. If you don’t take proper care of your teeth, you could face far more serious consequences than a simple toothache or some unsightly stains.