You may know that brushing twice a day and regular flossing will help keep your teeth clean and your gums healthy, but did you know that good oral health also plays a part in reducing your risk for many serious health conditions?
Good oral health is about more than teeth whitening. The mouth is directly connected to the body and is the gateway for bacteria and other infections. When you neglect your oral health you also put the rest of your health at risk. Here are 8 serious health conditions caused by neglecting your oral health.
Photo by Michael Browning
1. Heart Disease and Cardiovascular Disease
Many recent studies have found links from gum disease and periodontal disease to an increased risk of heart disease.
Bacteria and inflammation from gum disease in the mouth are associated with atherosclerosis – which is when arteries become clogged with fatty acids, increasing the risk of a heart attack. This also damages the arteries and can lead to hypertension and an increased risk of stroke.
Gum disease and diabetes are strangely linked and can have an effect on each other.
- If you have diabetes you have an increased risk of developing gum disease and oral infections such as cavities, fungal infections, and delayed healing.
- If you have diabetes and have gum disease, it can make your diabetes more difficult to control.
- Gum disease also puts you at a higher risk of developing diabetes due to higher blood sugar levels.
Poor oral health can also have an impact on your brain health.
New research shows that a toxic bacterium usually associated with chronic periodontal disease called Porphyromonas gingivalis was present in the brains of patients who had Alzheimer’s. This bacterium is usually found in cavities and can get into the bloodstream through regular chewing, eating and brushing teeth.
There are also studies linking Alzheimer’s with gum inflammation and that periodontal disease increases the risk for cognitive problems and damage to the brain.
4. Respiratory Infections
Poor oral health can also lead to complications with respiratory infections when bacteria from the mouth are breathed into the lungs or enter through the bloodstream. This can lead to pneumonia, bronchitis and even Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
5. Complications with Pregnancy
Hormonal changes during pregnancy make expectant mothers more susceptible to oral infections. These oral infections put pregnant bodies and their babies at risk and can lead to premature birth, or lower birth weight in infants.
An expert dentist, like Smiles Dentures Care Centre, is trained to look for early signs of oral and mouth cancer during regular check-ups. With poor oral health, you may miss out on this early detection. Also, gum disease is linked to higher rates of certain types of cancer, including kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, and blood cancer.
Gum disease increases inflammation in the mouth and can lead to increased inflammation in the body. Arthritis is an inflammatory disease caused by inflammation. There is a link between rates of gum disease and arthritis and people with gum disease are far more likely to also have arthritis.
8. Kidney Disease
Individuals with kidney disease are at a higher risk for periodontal disease and other oral health infections because of their weakened immune systems. Bacteria in the mouth from oral infections can also lead to kidney disease.
As you can see, good oral hygiene is extremely important for your overall health. So take care of your teeth, brush and floss every day and see a dentist from London City Dental regularly. Your teeth and gums will thank you for the care, and so will the rest of your body.