In more recent years, dentists have been highlighting the connection between the mouth and the rest of the body more and more. At the end of the day, oral health is overall health, so they both really deserve equal attention and care. In fact, there are many cases where dentists can tell when something is wrong with another part of the body, even when looking at your oral health alone. Keep reading to learn which conditions you could put yourself at lower risk for when you stay on top of your oral hygiene.
When the gums become inflamed, it’s typically because of bacteria that was missed during oral hygiene. This bacteria can actually travel through the bloodstream through the newly opened pockets in the gums created by this infection. As a result, the body’s arteries can develop plaque and eventually harden. A hardened artery, also known as atherosclerosis, is a sure way to cause a heart blockage and increase the risk of having a heart attack.
According to the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, those who have gum disease were also four times more likely to have rheumatoid arthritis. These two conditions share one common trait: the presence of inflammation. As oral bacteria travels throughout the body, it increases the amount of inflammation present and creates an environment for rheumatoid arthritis to develop more easily.
Both dementia and even Alzheimer’s disease could result from oral bacteria spreading to parts of the brain. This occurs when the bacteria that causes gum disease is able to travel through the nerve channels or the bloodstream and access areas of the body it’s not supposed to. This can lead to the death of brain cells and memory loss, two symptoms directly associated with dementia.
Those who are expecting need to be extra diligent about their oral health, largely because of the hormonal changes occurring inside their body as they undergo pregnancy. These changes put them at higher risk of developing gum infections, and any infection in the body can cause complications for their pregnancy (and their child) as well.
Bacteria from the mouth, whether it’s from infected teeth or gum tissue, can be breathed into the lungs or access them through the bloodstream. After bacteria reaches the lungs, serious conditions like respiratory infections, pneumonia, acute bronchitis, and even chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (or COPD) can develop.
The good news is that oral hygiene is a relatively easy habit to maintain, so you can ensure you’re doing everything you can to lower your risk for these conditions. Of course, that includes setting up a routine exam with a family dentist in Lakeway to ensure you’re doing what you need to protect your smile!
About Eaddy Dentistry
Father and son team Dr. Winston and Daniel Eaddy hold decades of combined experience among themselves and greatly enjoy helping patients protect their oral health just as much as their overall health. They recognize the importance of the oral and overall health connection and are happy to build a treatment plan that addresses your needs exactly. To schedule an appointment, you can contact them through their website.