Every day when you brush and floss (I hope you are!), you’re protecting your teeth from getting cavities, preventing gum disease and keeping those pearly whites – white! But, you may be surprised to know that there’s a direct link between dental health and overall health. So, while you care for the health of your mouth, you protect your overall health, too!
Why There’s A Direct Link Between Dental Health & Overall Health
The sad fact is most people have never been told about the direct link between dental health and overall health. Poor oral hygiene can affect other parts of your body because a lot of bacteria live in your mouth – both good bacteria and bad bacteria. The result of bad bacteria growing out of control can be oral infections and gum disease: mild (gingivitis) to severe (periodontitis). It can also attack other parts of your body.
The Direct Link Between Dental Health & Overall Health Happens This Way
Here’s how it works: let’s say you suffer from gum disease. There’s a very good chance you regularly bleed from your gums. This makes it super easy for bad bacteria to enter your bloodstream because your mouth contains exposed openings. (Innumerable times in my over 20 years of practice, I’ve noticed something amiss in a patient’s mouth that indicated something much worse could be going on in other parts of their body.)
5 Diseases & Health Conditions Linked To Poor Dental Health
The diseases and health conditions below are examples of the direct link between dental health and overall health:
1. Heart Disease
Research suggests that heart disease, clogged arteries and strokes can be caused by oral bacteria, especially if you suffer from the severe form of gum disease: periodontitis.
Suppose you have a weak immune system or previously suffered from heart valve damage. In that case, bacteria traveling from your mouth through your bloodstream can cause an infection of the inner lining of your heart. The condition is called Endocarditis.
If you have diabetes, you’re more prone to infections, including gum infections. In addition, if your blood sugar levels are out of control, there can be more sugar in your mouth for bacteria to feed on, which of course, can result in gum disease.
Osteoporosis, over time, can cause your bones to become weak and brittle – and it affects your teeth too. If your jawbone becomes compromised by osteoporosis, you can lose teeth, creating open spots for bacteria to thrive, resulting in gum disease.
5. Birth Complications
Many babies are born prematurely or underweight due to their mother’s gum disease.
It’s always good advice to brush and floss daily and visit your dentist for cleanings twice a year for the sake of your oral health. And for your dentist to keep an eye on your mouth. Gum disease, cavities, missing teeth, and severe tooth decay are signs that your general health may also be at risk. Remember, there is a direct link between dental health and overall health.
So, make that long-delayed dentist appointment right now!
Dr. Michael Sinkin has been practicing dentistry for over two decades. He truly cares about the experience you have in his office and takes great pride in making you feel relaxed and comfortable during every visit. Come in for an appointment and experience a different kind of dental practice. You may even receive a healthy dose of Dr. Sinkin’s famous comic relief! If you’re in the NYC area, call 212-685-3040 for an appointment. Thank you!