Oral health issues like receding gums and broken teeth can have ramifications that go well beyond a snaggletooth smile. These problems have great potential to negatively affect your overall health. There are a number of reasons for this. Infections can enter your body quite easily through your mouth. In addition, inflammation related to periodontal conditions can send bacteria straight to the bloodstream. Ultimately, poor dental health can severely impact your life. Here are seven health conditions connected to your oral hygiene.
1. Heart Disease
There is a strong link between gum disease and cardiovascular conditions. A bacteria causes gums to become inflamed, and that bacteria can easily be transferred to the bloodstream. When this occurs, plaque accumulates and hardens, leading to a condition known as atherosclerosis which is a leading cause of heart attack. It can even cause infection in the lining of the heart that often results in endocarditis, a potentially fatal condition. Also, the high blood pressure that can develop is a precursor to a stroke.
Visiting a professional practice can help to prevent existing mouth inflammation from entering the bloodstream. Taking good care of teeth and gums can also help diabetics better manage their condition. Those with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing gum disease and, in turn, inflammation of the gums can elevate blood sugars. Even if you don’t currently have diabetes, gum disease can certainly increase your risk of developing it.
3. Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory condition. As noted, gingivitis is inflammation of the gums. This inflammation has the potential to spread through the body, increasing the risk of rheumatoid arthritis or exacerbating an existing condition.
4. Kidney Disease
Kidney disease is a condition that affects more than the kidneys alone. It can also impact bones, heart, and blood pressure. Infections from issues like gum disease are known to cause kidney disease, which can sometimes prove fatal. You’re probably starting to see the effects of oral health on overall wellness.
Gum disease plays a role in the development of a wide assortment of conditions, unfortunately. Various cancers such as blood, cancer, and pancreatic cancer have been linked to poor dental health. Not to mention the fact that habits like smoking and the use of other tobacco products can strongly impact both oral health and cancers of the throat and mouth. Do not ignore your oral health, make sure to keep paying regular visits to your dentist. If you don’t have one, a quick online search for “Round Rock Dental” or your local area is a great way to start.
6. Respiratory Infections
Your respiratory system can actually be adversely affected by spotty oral hygiene habits. Swollen, inflamed gums and broken teeth produce bacteria. As you already know, bacteria can spread quickly through the bloodstream. However, it may come as a surprise to you that it can also be breathed into the lungs. In addition, it’s possible for the bacteria in the blood to find their way directly to the lungs. As a result, a number of respiratory problems can develop. Conditions like COPD, acute bronchitis and pneumonia, and other infections have been known to develop through this trajectory.
Another worrisome connection to consider is poor oral health and cognitive problems. Infections that result from inflamed gums can actually be substances that are able to reach the brain. These particular substances can then kill brain cells, leading to memory loss. They are delivered to the brain through various nerve channels or by traveling through the bloodstream. Dementia and even Alzheimer’s disease may be connected to gingivitis.
Now that you see the connection between dental health and overall wellness, you can move forward proactively toward taking positive steps for improvement. Be sure to brush your teeth thoroughly at least twice each day, and don’t forget to floss. Avoid lifestyle habits like smoking, chewing ice, and opening packages with your teeth that can have a detrimental effect on oral health. In addition, consider what you eat and drink, as sugary foods and drinks can do a number on your teeth. Routine dental visits also play a critical role in the condition of your teeth, gums, and mouth. While going to the dentist can seem intimidating, it’s definitely something worth doing. Investing in your health is an empowering action to take.