The state of your oral health can directly impact your overall health. In fact, oral health is a leading indicator of how the rest of your body is doing. Poor dental health can lead to painful and costly health conditions that can extend far beyond your mouth.
Thankfully, many of the things that impact the state of your oral health such as diet and oral hygiene are controllable. But without making healthy choices in your life, your teeth and the rest of your body can suffer.
Poor oral health has been linked to other conditions that affect overall health. Those who do not maintain their oral hygiene could suffer from gum disease, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and respiratory disease.
If you have gum disease you are at 2 to 3 times greater risk of heart disease compared to people with healthy mouths. It is believed that when you have gum disease, the bacteria from your mouth can get into your bloodstream. Since the bacteria produce protein, they can affect the heart by causing platelets in the blood to bond in the blood vessels within the heart, making clots much more likely.
When blood clots form, they reduce normal blood flow. This prevents the heart from getting all the nutrients and oxygen necessary for good health. The more restricted blood flow becomes, the more likely it is for a heart attack to occur. Those with gum disease are also more likely to suffer a stroke, hence why you should take good care of your teeth and gums.
If you have type 2 diabetes, you are more likely to have gum disease than a person who does not have this health condition. Diabetics are more likely to get infections, and if you have been diagnosed with the condition, you should be careful. But what if you do not know you have diabetes, or your diabetes is not under control? Then you are at extreme risk.
If there’s a chance you may have diabetes, it is important to get an evaluation and get your health under control. You’ll also want to visit your dentist to check for gum disease, which can increase your blood sugar and increase your chances of diabetic complications.
When you get a chest infection, it may be the result of breathing in fine droplets from your throat and mouth, carrying them into the lungs. If you have gum disease, you have more bacteria in your mouth and may be more prone to infections. For the elderly, it is imperative to take care of oral health to avoid these types of complications.
If your gums are red, swollen, and bleed easily, you may have gum disease. Loose teeth, bad breath, and mouth infections are also symptoms. You should learn more about gum disease and work with your dentist to treat it for your best oral health.