How Can Poor Mouth Health Affect the Rest of the Body?
Good oral health is good for maintaining healthy teeth, gums, jawbone, and overall well-being. When you don’t brush and floss your teeth properly, bacteria build up in the mouth, forming plaque and tartar. When not removed, these bacterial deposits release harmful acids that erode the teeth and irritate the gums, causing gum disease and tooth decay.
Bacterial infections can also lead to bad breath, oral thrush, bone loss, loose teeth, and sometimes tooth loss. It doesn’t stop there. Bacterial infections from the mouth can enter the bloodstream and respiratory system or travel to other body parts like the brain, lungs, and heart, causing infections, inflammation, discomfort, and increasing your risk of chronic health conditions.
Fortunately, good oral hygiene, routine dental checkups, and cleanings with our dentist in Shalimar, FL, can help keep your mouth healthy and prevent future oral and overall complications. Keep reading to learn more about how poor oral health can affect the rest of your body.
Health complications caused by poor oral health
Below are some of the most common health problems that can arise from poor oral hygiene and health:
- Respiratory infections
Oral bacteria from infected gums can travel to the respiratory system leading to lung infection and other serious conditions like bronchitis and pneumonia.
Dementia is commonly associated with older adults. It is characterized by progressive or permanent memory loss, personality changes, and abstract thinking. Inflamed or infected gums can release harmful substances that spread to the brain cells, leading to memory loss, dementia, and other memory problems.
- Cardiovascular disease
There is a close link between periodontal bacteria and heart disease. Bacteria from infected or inflamed gums can enter the bloodstream, causing inflammation and plaque buildup in the blood vessels and arteries. It puts you at great risk of blood clots, heart attack, and stroke.
- Prostate problems
According to research, men who have periodontitis may develop prostatitis. It is a condition that causes irritation and other prostate complications.
People with diabetes are more prone to infected gums than those without diabetes. Infected gums can also make it difficult to control diabetes. Oral bacteria can cause tissue inflammation, weakening your body’s immune system and reducing its ability to utilize insulin and manage blood sugar.
Recent research has linked poor oral health to infertility in women. For instance, gum disease can make it difficult to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term.
- Certain cancers
Poor oral health is also associated with higher mortality risks and certain cancers like kidney, blood, mouth, and pancreatic cancer. People who take tobacco and alcohol are at a greater risk of cancer.
- Rheumatoid arthritis
People with advanced periodontal disease are more likely to develop Rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is a serious autoimmune condition where the immune system attacks healthy body tissues. Oral bacteria can increase inflammation in the body, increasing your risk of developing Rheumatoid arthritis and a weakened immune system.
- Kidney disease
People with periodontal disease typically have increased inflammation and a weakened immune system, making them more susceptible to kidney infections, disease, and failure.
Tips for caring for your mouth and preventing health complications
Fortunately, there are numerous ways to improve your oral and overall well-being. Use the following tips to prevent unwanted oral and health complications:
- Brush at least twice daily and floss daily. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and change it every 3 to 4 months.
- Avoid vigorous brushing as it can irritate your gums and encourage infections.
- Use fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash.
- Avoid tobacco and alcohol products.
- Eat a well-balanced diet. Avoid hard and sugary items.
- Always stay hydrated to prevent oral infections.
- Schedule routine dental exams and cleanings near you. The dentist gets a chance to remove bacterial plaque and tartar to prevent oral infections.
- Keep diabetes and other health problems under control.
Are you interested in dental exams and cleanings in Shalimar, FL?
For more information about the relationship between your oral and overall health, contact Complete Health Dentistry of the Emerald Coast to book your appointment today.