Taking care of your teeth makes perfect sense. Good dental care means you’ll have a nicer smile. You’ll also have fewer cavities, so you’ll need fewer fillings. Finally, you’ll lower your chance of suffering serious dental problems, like gum (periodontal) disease.
What many people don’t realize is that your dental health also affects your overall health. In other words, keeping your teeth and gums clean can help you avoid health problems you don’t usually associate with dental care.
When you don’t look after your teeth and gums, your mouth becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. As an entryway into your body, the bacteria in your mouth, and the inflammation they cause, can travel almost anywhere in your body.
Here are just a few of the health issues that poor dental hygiene can cause or contribute to:
Gum disease can lead to an increase in blood sugar levels. That symptom alone can increase a person’s risk of developing diabetes. For diabetics, the effect of gum disease on blood sugar levels can make it more difficult to control their diabetes. Conversely, diabetes makes a person more susceptible to infection. Diabetics may be more likely to have gum disease than others, especially if they do not practice good dental care.
2. Kidney Disease
Gum disease can weaken your body’s immune system, making you more susceptible to infections. Poor dental care has been linked to an increase in the chances of kidney infections, which can lead to kidney disease.
3. Cardiovascular Disease
The same bacteria that grow in your mouth when you don’t practice good oral health can get into your bloodstream. Once there, they can cause a buildup of plaque and the hardening of your arteries (atherosclerosis). The resulting blood flow problems can lead to blockages around the heart and an increase in the risk of heart attack.
4. Respiratory Infections
In addition to getting into your bloodstream, oral bacteria can get into your lungs as you breath. In your lungs, the bacteria can cause respiratory infections, pneumonia and/or bronchitis.
There are many other health complications that poor dental health can cause or make worse. To learn more about how to keep your teeth and gums healthy and lower your risk of other health problems, contact us at My Dental Care.