Although oral health involves your gums, teeth, and tongue, poor oral health can negatively impact more than just your mouth region. In fact, bad oral health can have devastating consequences in many other areas of the body, resulting in various health conditions. For example, the following is a breakdown of 10 common health issues that can be related to poor oral health.
1) Respiratory Infections
Bacteria is a common problem when you have poor oral health. Bacteria that are located in your mouth from swollen gums or an infected tooth can make its way to the lungs via your bloodstream. Once it reaches this location, it can cause all sorts of respiratory issues like pneumonia, acute bronchitis or other respiratory infections.
2) Cardiovascular Disease
While you might assume heart health in no way correlates with oral health, heart disease can be caused by poor oral health. It, too, relates to bacteria in the mouth that can enter the bloodstream and eventually make its way into the heart, causing plaque build-up in the heart’s arteries. Over time, this plaque will harden and lead to the development of a dangerous disease known as atherosclerosis. This can increase your chances of having a heart attack or can damage blood vessels, leading to hypertension.
3) Malignant Disease
Poor oral health practices, like smoking, can result in throat and oral cancers. In addition, some cancers have been linked to periodontal disease. Cancers like blood, kidney and pancreas cancers have all been shown to correlate with the presence of periodontal disease.
4) Erectile Dysfunction
Another negative effect of poor oral health is experiencing erectile dysfunction. Periodontal disease has been shown to lead to bacteria in the gums and bloodstream, which eventually ends up in the genitals areas, where they can obstruct blood flow making erections difficult
Poor oral health can cause pregnancy complications. While pregnant, a woman is more susceptible to infections. This along with the fact that periodontitis can lead to low birth weight and premature birth means that pregnant women need to ensure their oral health is good when pregnant.
Bacteria can also get into the bloodstream and negatively impact the brain, killing brain cells, which can eventually cause memory loss. There is a proven connection between Alzheimer’s disease and/or dementia and gingivitis.
7) Rheumatoid Arthritis
This devastating condition can be life-altering for the sufferer and has been shown to be negatively impacted by poor oral health. In fact, the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society found that you are four times more likely to have rheumatoid arthritis if you also have gum disease.
8) Kidney Disease
Kidney disease impacts more than just the bean-shaped organ itself; poor kidney health can alter blood pressure, lead to bone and heart issues and more. It can even cause life-threatening complications when it progresses to kidney failure. Research has found a connection between kidney disease and periodontal disease, so this is yet another health issue that can be the result of poor oral health.
9) Infertility in Women
Surprisingly, though you might not assume the two things have any effect on each other, there has been a proven correlation between infertility in women and their poor oral health. Gum disease in particular has been shown to cause a large amount of health problems that can make it challenging for women to maintain a healthy pregnancy or conceive in the first place according to a Medical News Today study.
Last but certainly not least, poor oral health negatively impacts the way a person manages their diabetes. Those with diabetes are already more susceptible to infection, which can make periodontal disease more likely. Then, periodontal disease itself can make it harder for a diabetic to keep their sugar levels under control, causing spikes and other complications. Therefore, if you are diabetic, it’s that much more important for you to pay special attention to your oral health and ensure you are doing all you can to prevent gum disease. In addition, it’s important to know that having poor oral health will increase your chances of developing diabetes if you don’t already have the disease.
What Are the Signs of Poor Oral Health?
Now that you know the detrimental effect poor oral health can have on your entire body, altering how easily you can conceive and even leading to an increased risk of cancer, you likely want to know if your oral health is in fact putting you in danger. If you have excess plaque-build-up on your teeth, are noticing foul breath, bleeding gums or aching teeth, these are all signs that you might be experiencing bad oral health. While this might not be full-on gum disease, it could be heading in that direction. Therefore, you want to address it as soon as possible and take steps towards creating better oral habits.
Preventing Poor Oral Health
Bad oral health results in bacteria growth within the mouth, which will eventually get into the bloodstream and cause problems all over the body. To ensure good oral health and reduce the levels of bacteria in your mouth, make sure you are doing the following:
- Limit your intake of sugary drinks and/or food.
- Stop smoking and/or chewing tobacco products.
- Brush your teeth twice daily, for at least two minutes each time.
- Floss once a day.
- Use mouthwash and toothpaste that contains fluoride.
- Each a well-balanced, healthy diet.
Contact Us Today
Good oral health is an indicator of good overall wellness. To ensure your teeth are not a detriment to your overall health but instead an indication of your commitment to health, contact us today at Eastgate Dental Excellence. One of the best ways to maintain proper oral health is regular dental cleanings and professional examinations to catch any issue early. Let us help you to create a healthy mouth that will benefit your health. This commitment to oral health will pay dividends as it will also promote wellness throughout your entire body. You want to achieve healthy gums, with a shiny bright smile that exudes health. Contact us today to learn more about how to achieve this goal!