Did you know over 30 percent of adults have one or more untreated cavities in their teeth?
That’s a lot of bad teeth! It’s important to visit the dentist to keep your teeth healthy and avoid the major health issues that can stem from poor dental hygiene.
Keep reading to learn 6 facts about the relationship between dental health and wellness.
1. Poor Oral Hygiene Weakens Your Immune System
Once your immune system detects harmful bacteria entering your bloodstream through your gums, it sends antibodies over to neutralize the threat. This process produces inflammation in your body, which is a natural and helpful response in the short term. The reason why people have a negative view of inflammation is because you can have too much of a good thing.
If you suffer from chronic inflammation, this means that your immune system is in a constant state of panic. When your immune system doesn’t have the chance to rest, it weakens over time, which makes you more susceptible to all kinds of health issues. Who knew that boosting your immune system could be as simple as taking care of your teeth every day?
2. Complicating Your Diabetes
It’s already a nuisance to live with diabetes and, if not managed properly, the condition can be truly life-threatening. If you have diabetes, then your dental health should be an even higher priority than usual. Did you know that diabetes can actually make your chances of getting gum disease higher than that of the average person?
If that wasn’t bad enough, an oral infection can wreak havoc on your attempts to manage your diabetes. What can happen is that the infection makes you more resistant to insulin, in turn making it much more difficult to maintain proper control over your blood sugar.
When out of control, diabetes can cause improper wound healing, blurred vision or blindness, kidney damage, and much more.
3. Cardiovascular Disease
Oral inflammation, particularly of the gums, is a sign of gingivitis, which is usually caused by an excess of plaque or bacteria in your mouth. Gingivitis can be cured by taking better care of your teeth, such as brushing at least twice a day and flossing regularly and properly.
If left untreated, gingivitis can develop into periodontitis, which can cause your teeth to loosen or fall out altogether. You could even lose your jawbone!
But if that wasn’t bad enough, oral inflammation and infection are linked to cardiovascular disease, stroke, and more. Once plaque enters the bloodstream, it can travel to the heart and cause lots of damage.
Endocarditis is a scary-sounding word for an infection in the heart that’s caused by bacteria traveling to the heart from the bloodstream. One source of such germs is the mouth, of course. Like barnacles, the germs attach to the inner lining or valves of your heart and cause as much damage as they can.
The symptoms of endocarditis include night sweats, heart murmurs, chest pain, shortness of breath, and much more. If left untreated, endocarditis always leads to death.
5. Gum Disease May Be Linked to Giving Birth to Premature Babies
A mother’s uterus is one of the safest places a baby can be. Thanks to her liver, her body can filter everything she eats and drinks to provide the best nutrients for her baby and protect them from toxins. Although this system is impressive, it’s not perfect.
If any substances enter a mother’s bloodstream, they can have a direct pathway to the baby. Since mouth bacteria can enter the bloodstream through the gums, expecting mothers need to make their dental hygiene a priority to avoid gingivitis. Bad hygiene is like a nightmarish fall of the dominoes and, in such a case like this, it can lead to a dangerous preterm birth or a low birth weight in general.
As far-fetched as this may seem, some experts estimate that around 1 in 5 premature births are linked to the mother having a periodontal disease during her pregnancy. The reason why is because the bacteria is thought to interrupt the baby’s development and trigger the mother’s labor-inducing hormones too soon. If you want to enjoy a happy and healthy pregnancy, flossing and brushing your teeth can have a much bigger impact than you’d expect.
6. Trench Mouth
Your mouth is filled with bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other microorganisms, which is normal. Good dental hygiene means you have a healthy balance of everything, but bad dental hygiene can create an environment where harmful bacteria can overpower your mouth’s ecosystem.
If you have a buildup of bacteria in your mouth, it’s possible that you can develop a condition called trench mouth. It’s even more horrible than it sounds. Trench mouth causes your gums to become red, swollen, and even bleed.
Trench mouth is considered an extreme form of gingivitis. With such a condition, you can also expect ulcers in your mouth, bad breath, pain in the gums, and a lot of other unpleasant symptoms.
Now That You Know About Dental Health and Wellness, It’s Time to See Your Dentist
If people don’t know about the connection between dental health and wellness, then they are more likely to neglect their teeth. But the truth is, dental hygiene benefits include keeping your mouth full of healthy white teeth, your wallet full of green bills, and more. Dental health is vastly important for overall health.
The Shallowford Family Dental Group offers all of the services you need to maintain a clean mouth and a healthy, glowing smile that you can be proud of. Contact us to book your appointment now.