If you’re over the age of 70 and have been living with gum disease for at least 10 years, recent studies say you’re most likely going to develop dementia – or even worse – Alzheimer’s disease. But how? Apparently, the plaque buildup in your infected gums is able to change the way your brain cells form.
As a result, your cognitive health is compromised. Not only does the plaque buildup affect your brain cells, but gum disease also causes inflammation in the body’s bloodstream, which can lead to other serious health conditions like the ones listed below.
To help prevent these health problems, it’s important to stay on top of any poor dental hygiene issues. With just a few changes to your daily habits, you can avoid major health complications down the road.
Poor Dental Hygiene Causes Health Issues
Keeping your mouth and teeth clean and free of plaque can be one of the easiest ways to manage your health. Continue reading to learn how your poor dental hygiene can cause major problems if you’re not careful.
Improper care of your teeth can increase your heart disease risk. If a person does not regularly brush and floss their teeth, bacteria will build up in your gums. The bacteria then travel through the bloodstream and clogs the arteries with plaque, ultimately causing a heart attack.
The overproduction of plaque in the blood vessels can also cause hypertension, the leading cause of strokes. Endocarditis, which causes the heart’s lining to become infected, is another high-risk fatal heart condition that can happen.
A person living with diabetes has greater health risks associated with gum disease because of a vulnerable immune system. Managing infected gums can be harder to control because it raises blood sugar levels. In turn, this cycle often causes periodontal disease.
Bad oral hygiene also contributes to putting a person at a higher risk for diabetes.
Complications can arise for those dealing with both gum disease and chronic kidney disease. Not only can periodontal disease contribute to the development of kidney disease, but it compromises the body’s immune system which could lead to kidney failure or heart disease.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
The lasting effects of gum disease and poor oral hygiene have a strong influence on the brain. Not only do the bacteria in diseased gums harm memory loss but they actually destroy brain cells too. Gingivitis is a major contender in speeding up the process of the brain’s nerve damage, with nearly 70 percent of people with gum disease having dementia.
Complications with Pregnancy
Pregnancy brings on all types of hormonal changes to a woman’s body, so it’s especially important for expectant moms to take extra good care of their mouths and teeth. Keeping infections at bay will help avoid any potential threats to the developing baby, such as low birth weight and premature delivery. Gingivitis and periodontitis are the two leading causes of pregnancy complications, so keep brushing and flossing moms-to-be!
How to Prevent Health Problems Caused by Poor Oral Hygiene
To help lower your risk of developing some major health problems, it’s important to stay on top of your oral health. Follow the tips below to help get back on track to a healthy mouth and body.
- Quit smoking or chewing tobacco
- Brush your teeth three times a day for three minutes
- Floss teeth after every meal
- Get regular fluoride treatments
- Avoid sweets and fatty foods
- Get regular dental checkups twice a year
If you can maintain a healthy mouth, your body will thank you!
Healthy Mouth = Healthy Body
We hope this article helps you to avoid poor dental hygiene, and positively influences your habits! Whether you’re considering getting braces for your little one or seeking a Chattanooga cosmetic dentist for yourself, we’re here for all of your dental needs.
Contact us today and let us know how we help you achieve your smile goals!