How Oral Health Affects Your Body
If any other part of our body was hurting or bleeding regularly, we probably would be quite alarmed. Yet somehow when it comes to tooth pain or bleeding gums, which is an indicator for poor oral health, we tend to ignore it. However, oral health goes much more beyond just the teeth and gums as the mouth is the crucial entry to our body. Any infection or inflammation in the mouth, if left untreated, can cause serious health problems.
10 years ago physicians wouldn’t suspect gum disease to be the cause for cardiovascular disease but now they are taking a more holistic approach to the patients’ overall health. Study shows that people with severe periodontal disease are 40% more likely to have other chronic conditions.
It all starts with the bacteria build up around our teeth that causes gum infection. Our immune system starts to react to the infection by attacking it which becomes inflammation that not only affect the mouth but also the entire body.
Not only are diabetics more prone to infection, gum infection can also make diabetes more difficult to control. Inflammation in the mouth can weaken our ability to utilize insulin and thus the ability to regulate blood sugar. Furthermore, high blood sugar provides ideal conditions for infection to grow.
Gum disease and heart disease often go hand in hand. The same bacteria that causes gum disease can travel into the bloodstream and thus causing the arteries to build up plaque and harden. Inflamed blood vessels allow less blood to travel between the heart and the rest of the body causing blood pressure to raise. The inflammation can also block the blood flow from reaching the genitals and even causing Erectile Dysfunction. Overall It increases the risk of having a heart attack and strokes.
Complication of Pregnancy
Prematurely born babies can have serious health issues such as heart conditions and learning disorders. Many factors can contribute to premature birth and oral infection is one of them. Although men are more likely to develop periodontitis, hormonal changes during pregnancy increases the risk of infection. Any infection in the mother’s body can lead to pregnancy complications putting both the mother’s and the baby’s health at risk.
The bottom line is that our body and mouth are not separate. Taking care of your teeth and gum helps you prevent serious diseases and live a better life.