Tooth decay is the most prevalent infectious disease in the world. Left untreated, it can lead to various complications such as chronic pain, abscesses, or chewing problems.
Not only that, but it can also cause infections that can travel to other parts of the body—and that can increase your risk of other health issues.
Interested in learning more? Want to know how healthy mouths are linked to your overall well-being? If so, you’re at the right place.
We’ll be going over a few health problems that are associated with poor oral health below. Keep reading to learn more!
1. Heart Disease
Individuals with gum disease are two to three times more likely to experience a cardiovascular event such as a stroke or heart attack. This can be due to several things.
One possibility is that the bacteria that infect the gum tissues may travel to blood vessels elsewhere in the body and cause inflammation and damage. Not only that, but they can also travel to the heart and cause a condition called endocarditis, aka inflammation of the heart’s inner lining.
Another reasoning is that the bacteria may cause the body’s immune system to set off a cascade of vascular damage.
Periodontitis may raise your blood sugar levels, and that can increase your risk of diabetes. More specifically, the inflammation associated with gum disease can cause glucose intolerance—and that’s a major risk factor for the condition.
The opposite is also true. That is, those with diabetes are more likely to develop gum disease. In fact, it’s considered to be one of the main complications.
This happens because the blood vessels thicken, slowing down the flow of nutrients to the gum and bone tissue. Over time, this can make them more vulnerable to infection.
Given that, you must see your dentist at least once every 6 months if you have diabetes. Most dental clinics such as Today’s Dental Edgecliff would be more than happy to work with you to create a custom treatment plan.
3. Respiratory Infections
Gum disease may increase your risk of respiratory infections such as pneumonia. While further research is required to determine the exact relationship between dental health and pneumonia, it’s believed to be caused by breathing in fine droplets from the mouth and throat into the lungs.
That’s not all; it can exacerbate pre-existing respiratory conditions as well, such as bronchitis, emphysema, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The bacteria responsible for gum disease can cause inflammation of the lung lining, and that can limit the amount of air that’s able to pass freely.
The Link Between Healthy Mouths and Overall Well-Being
Healthy mouths lead to healthy lives; the better your oral health routine, the lower your chance of developing health problems. If anything, that’s especially true for those with pre-existing conditions.
Looking for more posts like this? If so, be sure to visit the rest of our health section!