Great dental health is about more than just the health of your teeth, gums and mouth. Since your mouth is the gateway into your body, poor dental health can have consequences elsewhere. Bacteria from the mouth can easily get into the bloodstream and cause inflammation and infection to other parts of the body as it spreads. Below are some common, serious health problems caused by poor dental health.
Several studies have found that people with poor dental health are at higher risk of cardiovascular problems, including heart disease, heart attacks and strokes. People with chronic gum conditions such as gingivitis or advanced periodontal disease have the highest risk for heart disease, especially if these conditions like gum disease and periodontitis remain undiagnosed and untreated.
The bacteria associated with gum infection can enter the bloodstream, where they attach to the blood vessels, resulting in tiny blood clots, heart attacks and stroke. Remnants of oral bacteria have previously been found within atherosclerotic blood vessels far from the mouth.
The respiratory system can be impacted by oral health because bacteria in the mouth from infected teeth and swollen gums can be breathed into the lungs or be carried there through the bloodstream. Once there, the bacteria can cause respiratory infections, pneumonia, acute bronchitis and even chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Diabetics are more susceptible to oral infections such as periodontal disease. Unfortunately, the reverse is also true and gum infections can cause or intensify the severity of diabetes. Blood sugar levels tend to go haywire in response to gum disease. It is essential for diabetics to take good care of their dental health to prevent complications with their condition.
People with gum disease were four times more likely to have rheumatoid arthritis according to the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society in the UK. Inflammation is at the core of both conditions. The oral bacteria from infected gums can increase inflammation throughout the body, increasing the risk for developing rheumatoid arthritis, a painful and debilitating inflammatory disease.
Infections anywhere in the body create a higher risk of developing kidney disease, including periodontitis. Gum disease can also weaken your immune system, making you more likely to acquire infections. Kidney disease can be fatal if it leads to kidney failure or cardiovascular disease.
There is also evidence that poor oral health can increase the risk of:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Infertility in women
- Pregnancy complications
- Blood cancers
- Kidney cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
The best way to prevent developing any of these serious health issues is by practicing good oral hygiene and maintaining your overall health and wellbeing.
Book an Appointment Today at King Street Dental
At King Street Dental, we offer high quality general and specialised dental care in Templestowe. From dental cleans and teeth whitening to dental implants and orthodontic treatments, you can count on our friendly and professional team for all your dental health needs.