How a Healthy Mouth Affects Your Overall Health
A lot of people deal with cavities and other dental problems. In fact, some studies show that more than 92% of adults between the ages of 20 and 64 have had a cavity in their permanent teeth. For the most part, these problems are easily corrected. Unfortunately, just over 25% of those people have yet to seek treatment for even the smaller dental problems.
It’s easy to put off a dental appointment. Some studies even suggest that 12% of adults in that same 20 – 60 demographic have not been to the dentist in the last five years.
And this can lead to problems that go beyond a few cavities.
We normally look at taking care of your teeth and gums in the context of being able to keep your teeth and gums or, and least, to keep your smile nice and beautiful. The truth of the matter is that the health of your mouth could actually impact the health of the rest of your body.
How Can Bacteria in the Mouth Cause Problems for Your Overall Health?
A number of studies have determined that certain dental problems could actually lead to more serious concerns throughout the rest of your body.
How does this happen? Is it really even possible?
Most of the current research suggests problems in the mouth can lead to overall health problems because of the bacteria that reside naturally in your mouth. There’s over 500 species in there right now. How does that make you feel?
These are the bacteria responsible for causing plaque/tartar buildup, and, most of the time, that’s the only real problem. However, research is speculating that problems develop when the bacteria finds a way to get into your blood stream.
If you’re suffering from periodontitis or other mouth problems, even a regular teeth brushing could open an entry point for bacteria to escape into your body. This is providing a direct path for unwanted visitors to reach beyond your teeth to other parts of the body.
Common Conditions Connected to Poor Dental Hygiene
- Diabetes – The inflammations that start in the mouth can impact the body’s ability to control blood sugar and use insulin. This leads to problems with diabetes.
- Heart problems – Cardiovascular disease is the problem most people talk about in relation to tooth decay. The bacteria in your mouth, if it gets in the blood stream, can clog arteries, contributing to heart disease and strokes.
- Premature births – Low birth weights and premature births have been linked to periodontitis. It has been suggested that this is because infections may interfere with fetus development.
- Respiratory issues – If you’re breathing in the bacteria, they can set up shop in your lungs, increasing the risk for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and pneumonia.
Your Dental Condition Provides Warning Signs
There are a lot of warning signs that appear in your mouth to indicate other serious medical conditions that may require attention.
Can you really assess your state of health by looking in a person’s mouth? Well, studies show that people with gum disease are 40% more likely to have some other chronic condition, so it’s easy to say that there is some kind of connection there.
It’s important to realize that the entire body is a connected organism, so when something happens in one part of the body, it really should come as a surprise that it affects another.
If you are getting your regular checkups and cleanings, it will give us the best chance to spot these warning signs early and recommend the proper course of action.
Prevention is The Goal
Regular checkups, strict at-home routines, and careful attention to the warning signs will help keep your mouth healthy and, by extension, contribute to your overall health. Staying on top of your dental health will help prevent these potential illnesses in the future.