How Oral Health Affects Your Body
According to statistics, over 90% of adults over the age of 30 have some stage of active gum disease which is the leading cause of tooth loss and other oral problems. Bad breath and tooth decay are also well-known signs of an unhealthy mouth that may have a severe impact on your body. From osteoarthritis through diabetes and to chronic heart disease, critical oral hygiene will affect much more than just your oral health.
Connection to Heart Disease
Several studies suggest that periodontal disease is intimately connected to an increased risk of heart attack. Namely, people who have a chronic bacterial infection of the gums have a 19 percent higher chance of developing a cardiovascular disease. Smoking, an unhealthy diet, and excess weight are just some of the risk factors the two conditions share. Furthermore, oral bacteria are a common cause of endocarditis, i.e., a disease that involves the inflammation of the lining of the heart valve.
Diabetes and periodontitis are very closely connected because high blood sugar allows gum infections to grow. A lack of insulin stops the body from correctly processing the sugar intake, which results in low oral health. Fortunately, if you keep one condition under control, it can help keep the other one at bay as well. Also, dentists can play a significant role in assisting people to discover that they suffer from diabetes early on, considering that abnormal openings between the tooth and gums usually indicates the patient suffers from high blood sugar levels.
Infection and inflammation have a negative influence on fetus’s development in the womb, so it’s vital that you take care of your oral health, both for yourself and for the sake of your child. Researchers have hypothesised that the immune response to gum infections might cause preterm labor. Premature babies are also more likely to suffer from various heart and lung diseases, ear infections, and can end up with learning disabilities. The best way to have a healthy pregnancy is by undergoing a periodontal exam. What’s more, if you have crooked teeth, this is also an excellent opportunity for you to have teeth straightening treatment and finally have that gorgeous smile. Moreover, a study in Australia showed that women who suffered from gum diseases took over 2 months longer to conceive, than the women who had a healthy mouth.
Pneumonia is just one of the many respiratory problems you can develop if the bacteria in your mouth end up in your lungs. If you breathe in tooth plaque, the bacteria can spread to your lungs, causing respiratory diseases. Furthermore, bacteria in the respiratory system can further worsen emphysema and other chronic lung conditions, jeopardizing your health even more.
What can you do to protect your teeth?
Do your best to keep your mouth healthy by regularly brushing and flossing. Make sure you brush your teeth after every meal and rinse your mouth thoroughly to get rid of all the food residue. Avoid sugary foods and drinks, and try to eat as healthy as possible. Vegetables, fruit, and dairy are much better than any fast or processed food. Try to have plenty of whole grains, calcium, and vitamin C to keep your mouth healthy. Poor nutrition will only make your mouth more susceptible to infections and potentially cause more severe health problems.
Heart disease, diabetes, premature birth, and respiratory illness are just some of the possible problems that bad oral health can cause. Taking care of your oral hygiene will make you both feel and look better, so make sure you brush your teeth after every meal and visit the dentist regularly to keep your teeth healthy, active and sparkly.
by Diana Smith