It’s no secret—poor dental care is a leading cause of cavities, gingivitis, and other oral health ailments. But did you realize that poor oral health affects other systems of the body as well?
In this blog, the dental team at Clopper’s Mill Dental Care will help you discover how oral health ailments ultimately lead to other health problems—a sign of how connected our bodily systems really are.
When you develop gingivitis or periodontitis, the same bacteria that causes inflamed and infected gums can enter your bloodstream and harden your arteries (known as atherosclerosis). Instead of having plaque on your teeth, atherosclerosis is a buildup of plaque on your arteries that can impede blood flow to the heart and other organs. This condition can also lead to endocarditis, or an infection and inflammation of the inner lining of the heart.
Severe gum disease can raise the risk of lung infections—particularly pneumonia. Not sure how that works? Imagine having large amounts of infectious bacteria in your mouth. Now imagine how much air goes through your mouth and into your lungs as you inhale. Practice poor oral health habits, and you’re on the fast track to respiratory problems.
People with diabetes are genetically predisposed to have a higher chance of developing gum disease, and having gum disease makes it more difficult to regulate diabetes symptoms. Whichever way you spin it, gum disease and diabetes should not mix—so take extra care of your teeth if you have diabetes or are at risk to have diabetes in the future.
Once again, bacteria from gingivitis is the issue here. When bacteria enters into the bloodstream or nerve channels in the head, it can cause damage to the brain in the form of dementia. Scientists are also looking into a possible connection between gum disease and the early onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
While there’s no definitive or voluminous evidence at this point, many scientific reports have linked periodontal tooth loss and jaw atrophy with osteoporosis. Gum disease can cause tooth loss, which can make the jaw weak, brittle, and susceptible to a number of oral health issues.
Avoiding Consequences of Poor Oral Health
Naturally, the best way to avoid compounded health problems caused by poor oral health is to not have poor oral health at all! With an emphasis on great oral health habits and killing bacteria, you’ll lower the likelihood of developing some of the troublesome health issues listed above—all it takes is daily brushing, flossing, and mouthwash use, and biannual trips to your Germantown dentist!
At Clopper’s Mill Dental Care, we’re passionate about preventative dentistry more than anything else. The more we can help and educate you on proper oral health while you’re healthy, the fewer health issues you’ll have. That’s something to smile about!
Plus, as a family dentist, we’re dedicated to helping children and young adults solidify good oral health habits. Schedule appointments for the whole family today, and get the entire family on the way to stunning smiles and excellent oral health!