A good oral routine may not just protect you from cavities and gum problems but will also save you from life-threatening diseases.
You were munching delightfully when you suddenly experienced pain in your gums. However, you ignore the pain and continue taking painkillers thinking it will soon fade away. But soon enough, you realize that the pain is intolerable and meet with a dentist to discover something surprising. Your dentist tells you to take an immediate appointment to get yourself checked for some other medical issue. Now, this may sound like a funny story to those who are unaware of how poor oral health can create more than just bleeding gums and cavities.
It is known that our mouth which contains bacteria serves as the entry point to our digestive and respiratory tracts. Our day-to-day oral hygiene practices like brushing and flossing keeps these bacteria under control. However, when your oral health is not good enough, the bacterial levels in the mouth go up leading to oral infections such as tooth decay and gum disease.
According to WebMD, there is a synergic relationship between oral health and overall wellness. Diseases that affect the mouth such as gum disease is known to be the host of illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, osteoporosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. The inflammation caused by gum disease which is usually a silent disease can allow bacteria to enter into the bloodstream. This will contribute to inflammation caused in other parts of the body such as the heart. A study conducted by the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry found that people with gum diseases were twice as likely as others to die from a heart attack and three times more likely to have a stroke.
Here are some serious health conditions that may be triggered by your inflamed gums:
When a person has poor oral hygiene, inflammation of the gums is caused to the excess bacteria in the mouth. This bacteria then tends to get into the bloodstream of the person causing the arteries to harden giving rise to a condition called atherosclerosis. This serious illness can result in heart blockages and can increase the risk of heart attacks. Due to the impact caused by this on the arteries and blood vessels, the risk of stroke also increases.
The build-up of bacteria in the mouth can affect your respiratory system. Bacteria caused due to infected teeth and inflamed gums can travel into the lungs. When you inhale, these harmful bacteria make their way to the lungs and grow there. Though our immune system is equipped to prevent this bacteria, the lungs would still become inflamed and irritated. This can lead to serious respiratory infections such as pneumonia, acute bronchitis, and even COPD.
Though this may sound strange, medical experts say that there is a strong connection between oral health and infertility. According to Medical News Today, Roger Hart, a professor at the University of Western Australia in Perth said that the effect of gum diseases on fertility is similar to that of obesity. He said that the chances of a woman becoming pregnant will depend on how well she takes care of her teeth and gums. Research conducted found that women with gum diseases took an average of two months longer to conceive than women with good oral health. According to verywell family, men with periodontal disease are likely to face male factor infertility.
People with poor oral health are more prone to developing Rheumatoid Arthritis. The bacteria in the mouth that passes into the bloodstream can lead to inflammation throughout the body. The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society states that people with gum disease are four times more likely to develop Rheumatoid Arthritis.
According to WebMD, a study conducted at the University of Central Lancashire School of Medicine and Dentistry found that there was a link between poor oral health and dementia. Therefore poor dental care can affect the brain. The bacteria and substances released due to the inflammation in the mouth may be responsible for bringing changes in the brain and contributing to symptoms such as confusion and failing memory.
Chronic kidney disease can cause serious troubles such that it affects the kidney, heart, increase blood pressure, etc. Periodontal disease is found to lead to kidney troubles. Individuals suffering from gum diseases have a weaker immune system and is at risk of infections. Therefore, people who have poor oral health tend to suffer from kidney diseases too. A study conducted by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that participants with periodontal disease were more prone to develop renal insufficiency, a chronic condition that affects the kidneys.
Brushing at least twice a day, flossing daily, and using mouth wash to clean the mouth can help keep your oral hygiene intact. In addition to this, a healthy diet with a limited intake of sugar will also ensure good oral health. Regular check-ups at the dentist are also mandatory.