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Have you ever thought that how dental health affects your overall health? Well, this article discusses all about that.
Although our body's organs and the senses work in different ways, and all are interconnected to each other. For example, if your hair is falling more than usual, it is the sign of a liver problem. In the same way, your oral health also gives signs about your overall health.
Why Is Oral Health Important?
Taking poor care of your gums and teeth leads to poor hygiene which causes bacteria build-up. Daily brushing and flossing can keep these bacteria under control and can lower the chances of tooth decay and gum diseases like gingivitis, mouth ulcer, tooth mobility, etc.
What Are The Most Prevalent Causes Of Oral Health Disease?
Periodontal disease and dental caries are the two most prevalent causes of oral health disease. Dental caries is most common in children and periodontal disease is the most common cause of tooth loss among adults. The importance of oral health was highlighted in the Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General which revealed that oral health is the gateway to general health and well-being.
How Dental Health Affects Overall Health
Following are some of the health problems that are caused by bad teeth.
Diabetes and periodontal disease interconnected. When your mouth is inflamed, it seems to weaken the body's ability to control blood sugar levels. Diabetic people have trouble processing sugar because of high insulin, the hormone that converts sugar into energy. And when the blood sugar levels rise, it paves the way for gum infections.
2. Cardiovascular disease
Gum disease and heart disease often go together. According to what is mentioned in the website of Wisconsin Dental Association, it is said that up to 91 per cent of heart disease patients have periodontal disease compared to 66 per cent of people with no heart disease. Millions of bacteria accumulate in plaque and calculus deposits in the mouth travel to the bloodstream causing inflammation in the blood vessels. This increases the risk of heart attack and stroke as less blood travels to the heart and other parts of the body, raising blood pressure levels.
Endocarditis is an infection which occurs in the inner lining of the heart chambers and heart valve. Brushing your teeth or other oral activities that cause gum bleeding cause millions of bacteria or other germs from your mouth to enter the bloodstream, travel to your heart and attach themselves to damaged heart valves leading to endocarditis.
4. Respiratory infections
According to the Dental Health Foundation, poor oral hygiene could be another cause of respiratory infections as the bacteria in the mouth is associated with lung disease. Experts from the Yale University School of Medicine found some changes in bacteria in the mouth which preceded the development of pneumonia in hospital patients.
According to the American Dental Education Association, there is an association between obesity and oral health, ranging from periodontal disease and dental caries to oral and maxillofacial surgical procedures. A study ‘BMI status in Swedish children and young adults in relation to caries prevalence,' published in the Swedish Dental Journal, found a strong link between obesity and dental caries in adolescents and young adults.
Osteoporosis affects the bones in the legs and arms and gum disease attacks the jaw bone. The bone in the jaw supports the teeth and when the jawbone becomes less dense, tooth loss can occur. The portion of the jaw bone which supports the teeth is called as the alveolar process and according to what is mentioned in www.bones.nih.gov, a strong link has been found between the loss of alveolar bone and an increase in tooth loss. Women with osteoporosis are three times more likely to experience tooth loss than those who do not have this disease.
Periodontal infections may pose a threat to the foetal-placental unit and cause adverse pregnancy outcomes. According to the study, ‘Relationship between Maternal Periodontal Disease and Low Birth Weight Babies' in the Iranian Journal of Reproductive Medicine, mothers with periodontal disease gave birth to low-weight babies. This disease is responsible for a chronic inflammatory challenge in the body which triggers inflammatory mechanisms associated with pre-term birth outcomes.
8. Digestive problems
If you thought acid reflux and constipation causes digestive issues, then you are wrong. Gum diseases can also cause stomach problems. How? The presence of bad bacteria in the mouth causes inflamed gums that ultimately leads to gum disease. So, when you chew your food and swallow the bad bacteria goes down the digestive tract along with the food. This can cause an imbalance in the digestive system.
Other conditions linked to oral health are lung conditions, rheumatoid arthritis, and severe osteopenia.
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