Can my dental health affect my general health?

As you may already know, are mouths are full of bacteria, some good, and some not so good. This is why it is very important to keep a natural balance in between, by regular cleaning with your toothbrush and dental aids, routine examinations with your dentist, and cleans with a dental hygienist.

Bacteria that lie on your teeth and gums if not cleaned properly and regularly can lead to gum disease and dental decay, eventually your gums can become infected and inflamed. That’s when your immune system comes into action to fight the disease to try and keep it under control.

Over time, the chemicals released from the inflamed gums eat away at the bone structure in your jaw which holds your teeth in place, causing your teeth to become mobile and very uncomfortable; this is called ‘periodontitis’. Inflammation then can cause problems to the rest of your body.

Some research has shown the periodontitis can have an effect and connection with diabetes. Inflammation that started in the mouth can weaken the body’s ability to control blood sugar. Lack of insulin is caused diabetes, and insulin is very important as is converts the sugar into energy. Also research has shown high blood sugar provides the ideal conditions for infection to grow, this is including gum infections. This can be in your favour, as controlling one cam help manage the other to bring it under control.

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Image Source: Dentalhealth.org

It is also clear that gum disease can have connections with heart disease. Up to 91% of patients with heart disease have periodontitis, compared to 66% of patients who don’t suffer from heart disease. Both conditions have several risk factors in common, such as an unhealthy diet, smoking and excess weight. It seems that inflammation in the mouth can cause inflammation in the blood vessels, raising the risk of a heart attack in many ways. Inflamed blood vessels allow less blood to travel between the heart and the rest of the body, then raising the blood pressure. There is also a risk that fatty deposits can break off from a blood vessel and then travel to the heart or brain, then causing a stroke or a heart attack.

Osteoporosis and periodontitis can also have a connection, as both diseases have one major thing in common, which is of course bone loss. Although, the link between the both of these is controversial. Osteoporosis affects the bones in the legs and arms, where as periodontitis affects the jaw bone. Research has shown that osteoporosis mainly affects females, whereas periodontitis is more common to males. Some studies have shown that women with osteoporosis suffer from gum disease more than those who don’t have it. Tests are now being carried out to see if the inflammation triggered by periodontitis could weaken bone in other parts of the body.

All these things can easily be avoided by taking simple steps to your daily routine. For instance, if all of a sudden your gums bleed, and they never used to, then this indicates that there is an area in your mouth where you are not brushing properly, so this area needs more attention, although most people when they see that their gums are bleeding, avoid the area to stop it bleeding more, which his understandable, but this is not what should be done, as you are leaving the inflamed area untreated to only get worse.

We advise to brush at least twice a day, also using interdental aids such as floss and interdental sticks to brush away bacteria where your toothbrush cannot reach, these are very important for in-between your teeth, where cavity’s commonly form. It is also very important to see a dental hygienist to keep your teeth clean and stable, as he or she can clean under your gums with special instruments where neither home techniques can reach, everybody is advised to see a dental hygienist at least once a year if your gums are stable, this differs from patient to patient depending on how severe your gum disease is.

Here at Perfect Smile Spa in Hornchurch, Essex, we offer a great pain free hygiene service with our well experienced friendly hygienists, to give you a spotless clean and healthy smile. We offer half an hour appointments or hourly appointments, depending on the severity of your mouth. For any advice or questions you may have, please give us a call, or send us an email.

Can my dental health affect my general health? was last modified: July 2nd, 2018 by Dr Jas Sagoo

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