The health of your oral cavity is more important than you may think. If you think poor oral health can lead only to dental cavities, think again! Several scientific studies point to the connection between oral conditions and serious health problems such as cardiovascular diseases, dementia, and irregular blood sugar levels, among others.
Taking care of your teeth and gums is a worthy goal in itself, enabling you to ward off several health concerns. Here’s how poor oral health can adversely affect your general well-being, making it critical for you to introduce effective oral healthcare strategies into your routine.
1) Cardiovascular Disorders
Oral health conditions, namely gum disease or periodontitis and tooth loss are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disorders, such as stroke, heart attack, endocarditis, and atherosclerosis.
Growing evidence suggests that the bacteria involved in gum disease can travel to the other parts of the body and cause inflammation and clots in the major arteries, leading to stroke or heart attack episodes. The body’s immune response to such inflammation coupled with unhealthy habits such as smoking and consumption of alcohol and high-sugar food items further trigger a cascade of vascular (blood vessels) damage and hardening of the arterial walls.
Making oral hygiene a priority can reduce the risk and progression of heart ailments. In fact, patients with signs of gum inflammation should visit a local dental clinic that offers a complete periodontal evaluation and assesses their cardiovascular risk.
For instance, if you live in Marietta, Georgia, look for a Marietta family dental care expert who specializes in offering comprehensive dental care while considering the condition of your heart.
2) Respiratory Disorders
Scientific evidence suggests that the different species of bacteria in the dental plaque are often inhaled, promoting colonization of pathogens in the lungs and the respiratory tract. This, coupled with smoking, can impair the normal functioning of the respiratory system.
The poorer the oral health condition, the higher is the risk of respiratory diseases and infections, pneumonia, acute bronchitis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
3) Diabetic Complications
The link between diabetes and oral health is a two-way street. Though diabetic people are highly susceptible to serious oral health issues, patients with dental conditions like gum disease or a thrush infection find it tough to regulate their blood sugar level.
Therefore, adequate dental care is extremely important for diabetics. If you are a diabetic and are visiting a dentist, it is wise to remind him/her about your health condition and current medications.
Researchers have proven that porphyromonas gingivalis, a bacteria strain found in gum disease may enter the brain and cause damage to the nerve cells, leading to cell death. When the nervous system is repeatedly exposed to such damage, it may cause symptoms of dementia like memory loss, confusion, impaired cognition in the patient.
For patients already suffering from dementia, poor oral hygiene can cause worsening of these symptoms.
5) Psychological Conditions
Oral and mental health have a cyclic relationship. Patients with impaired mental health are less likely to care for their oral well-being.
On the other hand, poor dental health can affect your overall appearance, bringing down your confidence and causing psychological ailments like depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorders.
Also, poor oral health causes tooth decay, missing tooth, and bad breath and impacts one’s speech, adversely affecting his/her physical appearance and leading to severe social anxiety.
6) Autoimmune Disorders
Research has proven that oral bacteria can trick the body’s immune system to attack its own body cells, as in the case of autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Though autoimmune disorders are highly complex and multifactorial, researchers are identifying the role metabolites, produced by the oral bacteria, in triggering the autoinflammatory response. If the plaque bacteria is involved in the progression of the autoimmune disorder, ensuring oral hygiene can help reduce the erratic immune response.
7) Pregnancy Complications
Bad oral hygiene can cause pregnancy complications, such as premature delivery, low birth weight, and prenatal infections. Studies have revealed that the bacteria from the mother’s oral cavity can travel to the amniotic fluid, contributing to the aforesaid pregnancy impediments.
Unfortunately, due to the fluctuations in the hormonal levels during this period, pregnant women are highly susceptible to dental conditions, such as gum disease and mouth tumors. Consequently, pregnant women are often advised to maintain adequate oral hygiene and visit their dentist regularly.
Poor dental health can lead to fertility issues in men and women.
A recent study published in the American Journal of Men’s Health shared that poor oral hygiene and dental infections can cause a condition called bacteriospermia that impairs the sperm motility and count, the key parameters of male reproductive health. Another groundbreaking study revealed that women with dental issues, such as gum disease took longer to conceive compared to those with good oral health.
Infertility is a complicated condition caused by a variety of factors. However, when poor oral health goes unnoticed, managing infertility becomes even more challenging.
Thus, to enjoy improved sexual health, you should adhere to healthy oral care habits like regular brushing and flossing.
Also, if you desire to extend your family, your prenatal assessment should include a thorough dental assessment, improving your chances of conception.
Avoid delaying restorative dental procedures recommended by your dentist as doing so can lead to complex dental issues in the future. For instance, if you live in Marietta, GA and have been advised dental implants by a Marietta dental expert, it is wise to get it done when planning to conceive.
Poor oral health not only affects your smile, but also the rest of your body. Therefore, it is important to follow strict oral hygiene practices and see your dentist at regular intervals. Timely dental cleaning helps remove plaque and tartar, reducing the risk of serious dental and general health issues.
The information shared in this post will help you realize that the condition of your teeth and gums is closely connected to your overall well-being. Talk to your oral care expert about how you can take good care of your teeth and gums, thus preventing the above-mentioned health issues.