If you have poor oral health, you may believe that this will only lead to tooth decay. However, poor oral health can also have a devastating impact on your general health. In addition, poor health can contribute to a decline in your oral health.
Oral Health And Diabetes
There are many systemic diseases that have poor oral health as an early warning sign. For example, diabetes has one of the strongest relationships between the mouth and the rest of the body. The body develops less of an ability to control blood sugar after the body experiences inflammation of the mouth. When the body is suffering from inflammation, this interferes with the ability of the body to use insulin.
The human mouth acts as a vehicle for infections. Gum disease results from bacteria building up in your mouth. This makes the gums more likely to suffer from an infection. The inflammation that is caused by gum disease releases chemicals that can cause problems with the rest of the body. Fortunately, with a good oral health regimen that includes the proper oral devices, you can keep your oral health under control.
Another common disease that is often associated with poor oral health is cardiovascular disease. There is an association between the number of teeth that a patient has and the likelihood that he or she will suffer from a heart attack. Taking better care of your heart, such as by taking probiotics, can also help improve your oral health.
Those with moderate or advanced gum disease are more likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease. While there is clearly a relationship between heart disease and gum disease, more research needs to be performed before it is known for certain exactly what that relationship is.
Oral Health & Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis, or bone-loss disease, is a progressive disease that is commonly linked to aging and hormone changes in both men and women. However, research has shown that there is a strong link between gum disease and the progression of osteoporosis. Adults who show signs of periodontitis, also known as advanced gum disease, are more likely to have bone loss throughout their bodies than patients with better oral health. Unfortunately, some of the medicines available for the treatment of osteoporosis may actually increase the rate of oral decay in patients with periodontitis, making overall oral care even more critical for aging adults.
Oral Health & Mental Health
While most doctors focus primarily on their patients’ bodies, there is a clear and strong link between mental health and overall health. Unfortunately, there is also a strong correlation between poor oral health and poor mental health, for a variety of reasons. First, progressive mental diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease are known to be associated with poor oral hygiene. In fact, most adults showing symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease also shown signs of periodontitis and advanced tooth decay. Aside from debilitating diseases, poor oral health can actually lead to poor mental health simply due to the fact that people with poor oral hygiene have difficulty keeping healthy relationships and friendships.
Oral health is a strong sign of social competence and reliability, and poor oral hygiene is a primary cause of yellowed and missing teeth and halitosis, or chronic bad breath. Unfortunately, strong social support systems are positively linked to strong mental and overall health. Therefore, practicing good oral hygiene is essential to good overall health.
Oral Health & Pregnancy
While expecting mothers are advised on a litany of health concerns, many doctors fail to mention a simple, yet troubling issue: poor oral health may cause premature or unhealthy births. Pregnant women are more likely to have difficulty giving birth to healthy babies if they suffer from gum disease and tooth decay. Inflammation in the gums and plaque on teeth can actually be transferred to babies in utero, leading to low birth weight and premature births.
Risk Factors In Common
Risk factors that can lead to poor oral health are also risk factors for other health problems. For example, the following factors:
…can contribute to poor oral health and can also contribute to health problems for the rest of the body. For a patient who is suffering from poor oral health, it is time to look at the patient’s lifestyle to see if any lifestyle factors may contribute to the patient suffering from poor oral health.
Because of the link between poor oral health and general health, it is important that you visit a doctor when your dentist discovers that you are experiencing poor oral health. Your oral decay may be the result of other health problems or your oral decay may be causing other health problems.