Twenty or thirty years ago, it would never occur to your doctor to send you to the dentist if they notice any heart problems. However, today, many general medicine specialists understand the possible link between good oral health and the health of your entire organism. So, what is that link exactly and how do your teeth and gums affect your well-being? Find out here.
Oral health and diabetes
Probably the most prominent mouth-body connection is the relationship between diabetes and periodontitis. The periodontal disease reduces the body’s ability to manage blood sugar and utilize insulin. Additionally, people with high blood sugar can enter a vicious circle of insulin and infection problems. They have an ideal mouth flora for gum infections that in turn cause blood sugar problems, and blood sugar problems help boost infections. However, once you manage to bring one issue under control, the other will follow.
Oral health and cardiovascular problems
For some reason, heart disease and gum disease go hand in hand. Even though scientists yet don’t understand why more than 90% of people with cardiovascular problems also suffer from periodontitis (only 66% of those with healthy hearts develop this oral issue). However, since smoking, obesity and bad diet often cause both, this might be the missing link. But, some specialists are sure that mouth inflammations can start blood vessel inflammations that increase the risk of heart disease.
Pregnancy and mouth hygiene
There are many factors that can cause premature labor and gum disease might just be one. And even though periodontitis more often troubles men, pregnancy causes many hormonal changes that put women at risk of gum disease. All kinds of inflammations are bad for the fetus and can interfere with its development, so make sure to have regular dental and gum exams before and during the pregnancy. Women more prone to gum infections should be extra careful.
Bones and oral health
Both osteoporosis and periodontitis have bone loss in common and can affect each other, even though there’s no firm and accepted link in the medical world. The controversy appears in the body part each disease attacks: osteoporosis affects bones in the arms and legs, while gum inflammations affect the jaw. Another thing that confuses doctors is that osteoporosis is more prominent in women, whereas gum disease mainly affects men. However, even though there is no clear link between these two ailments, statistics state that women with osteoporosis more often suffer from periodontitis than those who have strong and healthy bones. There’s one theory that might shine some light on this issue and that is that inflammations of the mouth also weaken the bones in other parts of the body.
Oral health and mental health
A perfect smile can have a wonderful effect on your confidence, just as much as misaligned teeth and bad breath can ruin it. For instance, according to a survey conducted in Australia, 9 out of 10 people have experienced embarrassment caused by their teeth at least once in their life. This can harm their self-image, reduce their social interaction and even lower their possibility of finding a good job. But Aussie people, especially those in big cities like Sydney, often opt for various dental procedures that can improve their aesthetics. By finding an experienced Chatswood orthodontist, you can fix your teeth and jaw alignment and make your smile perfect and radiant. This procedure will certainly lift your self-esteem and bring a smile to your face, quite literally!
Lung disease and oral hygiene
Some researchers have also discovered a connection between lung issues and mouth hygiene. For instance, people with gum disease have an increased risk of catching pneumonia and other respiratory diseases that can cause a lot of health problems or even be fatal. A person with a lot of bacteria in their mouth can spread them to their lungs by simply breathing. Even though the possibility isn’t very high, people with pre-existing conditions and chronic lung issues should be really careful, while patients with weak immune systems have the highest risk of catching a pulmonary disease this way.
If you feel like you’re at risk of any of these oral health issues, make sure to have regular dentist visits. Your dentist will tell you the state of your teeth and gums and explain the best way to improve your oral health. Additionally, if you develop any issues, don’t wait! It can only get worse in time and create a big health concern. Additionally, make sure to brush and floss properly and regularly (at least twice a day). Professional cleaning can also help maintain ideal oral health by removing plaque and tartar thoroughly. And last but not least, if you’re a smoker, try to quit the habit. We know it’s not easy, but once you start your detox and see all the benefits, you’ll certainly manage to beat your addiction.
Once you stop taking your oral hygiene for granted, you’ll not only improve the look of your teeth but also help the rest of your body stay healthy and strong!