A set of shiny and healthy pearly whites has always been a hallmark of good oral health. But a bright, healthy smile is so much more than just an aesthetic goal we all strive to achieve. Our oral health is also an indicator of our health in general, and failing to properly care for our teeth, gums, and mouth can result in a plethora of health conditions. Below, four serious health problems bad teeth may cause.
Bad teeth can lead to diabetes (and vice versa)
Diabetes is a condition that can make an individual more susceptible to infections. This is because this condition, when not managed properly, weakens white blood cells and compromises the entire immune system. This, in turn, weakens the body’s first line of defense against germs and bacteria which often cause oral infections. On the other hand, a person with poor oral health may be at a higher risk of diabetes. This is due to high blood sugar that arises as a result of a gum disease.
Individuals with diabetes should make a special effort to maintain good oral health and avoid possible complications of this disease. Similarly, individuals with gum disease should do their best to manage this oral health issue since it can make it more challenging for them to keep their blood sugar stable.
Poor dental health raises the risk of cardiovascular diseases
Gum disease or periodontitis doesn’t only put you at a higher risk of diabetes but it can also increase your chances of developing cardiovascular diseases. This can happen if the bacteria from the mouth that causes periodontitis ends up in a person’s bloodstream. This leads to plaque building up in the arteries, which hardens, further evolving into atherosclerosis. The built-up plaque then causes blockages and obstructs blood flow, which increases the risk of a heart attack.
If the arteries and blood vessels are damaged, it could lead to hypertension and result in a stroke. Sometimes, a person may even develop endocarditis, which is a fatal condition. This only highlights the importance of good oral health and preventative care. According to a reputable dentist in Boca Raton, this includes effective at-home oral care combined with routine dental visits. It’s important to understand that personal care alone isn’t enough and needs to be followed by regular cleanings and check-ups. Only then can you have a peace of mind knowing that your oral hygiene routine is up to par.
Poor dental hygiene can result in respiratory infections
Another serious health problem that may arise as a result of poor oral care is respiratory infection. The oral bacteria that arise from poor dental hygiene, whether from swollen gums or infected teeth, may end up in a person’s lungs after traveling through the airways. Once the bacteria is in, it wreaks havoc on the respiratory system. As a result, a person may experience respiratory infections, acute bronchitis, and even life-threatening respiratory problems such as pneumonia.
The incoming bacteria from the mouth are even more difficult to ward off if an individual already has respiratory problems. Because of that, smokers and elderly people, along with COPD sufferers and cancer patients are at a higher risk of oral bacteria worsening their condition.
Bad oral health puts women at a higher risk of pregnancy complications
Practicing good oral hygiene can also reduce the risk of experiencing pregnancy complications. A woman’s body goes through a plethora of hormonal changes during pregnancy. These hormonal changes can make her quite susceptible to oral infections. Because these infections occur more quickly, maintaining good oral hygiene is imperative for expectant mothers.
Not only will this help reduce the risk of common oral health issues such as periodontitis and gingivitis, but it’ll also reduce the risk of premature or low birth weight – both of which have been linked to the aforementioned oral health problems.
The importance of practicing good oral hygiene cannot be emphasized enough. Healthy mouth is an indicator of a healthy body, and only by embracing our oral health can we ensure overall health and wellness. Do your best to adopt and maintain good dental habits, and you’ll be well on your way to enjoying a beautiful smile and longer-lasting, higher-quality health.