You know you should brush your teeth twice a day and floss regularly, yet many of us neglect our dental hygiene. According to a 2018 poll published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, periodontitis, or gum disease, affects 42 percent of US individuals over 30. However, the consequences of dental problems aren't confined to your teeth and gums.
When someone has periodontal disease, their mouth’s surroundings become less healthy: Gum tissues that are inflamed, irritated, and swollen aren't as strong a barrier to bacteria and toxins as they would be if they were healthy. As a result, illnesses that begin in your mouth may be linked to disorders in other parts of your body.
Continue reading to learn how oral hygiene may help your body's overall health, as well as the indicators of disease that your teeth might indicate.
1. It may improve metabolic syndrome
The term "metabolic syndrome" refers to a collection of risk factors that raise the risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. High blood sugar, high blood fats (cholesterol or triglycerides), abdominal obesity, and high blood pressure are examples of these conditions.
Periodontal disease may be a component of metabolic syndrome, according to certain research. However, further research is needed to substantiate a link between metabolic syndrome and periodontal disease, as the underlying molecular mechanisms that reveal a link have yet to be proven.
2. It can lower the risk of heart attack
Oral bacteria that enter the bloodstream may be linked to heart issues. Disease-causing oral bacteria can move to other regions of the human body, including the heart, via the circulation, which is why there is a link between dental health and cardiovascular disorders.
Chronic inflammation becomes the "touchpoint" where oral and systemic health are linked, as the body generates an inflammatory response to try to heal. People with untreated periodontal disease are two to four times more likely to suffer from a heart attack.
3. It may reduce the risk of stroke
The same processes that appear to reduce the risk of heart disease may also reduce the chance of stroke. Gum disease causes germs to enter the circulatory system These bacteria have been detected in the plaques found inside blood vessels, linking them to strokes and heart attacks.
Patients with periodontitis had a higher risk of ischemic stroke and a lower 10-year stroke survival rate than people without periodontitis, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology in 2019. People who get treatment for periodontal disease can actually lower their stroke risk.
4. It may lower your chances of lung disease
The link between lung disorders, such as pneumonia is clear. Bacteria can be inhaled directly from the lips into the lungs. Bacterial infections, such as pneumonia, might occur as a result of this. Furthermore, when germs from the back of the mouth and upper throat move into the respiratory tract, oral disorders like periodontal disease can exacerbate respiratory infections in those who already have respiratory problems.
5. Lowered effects of high blood glucose
Dental issues may exacerbate type 2 diabetes, while type 2 diabetes may exacerbate dental issues. According to the National Institutes of Health, uncontrolled diabetes causes high glucose (sugar) levels in saliva, which can foster the growth of bacteria that cause gum disease.
Diabetes patients may also have dry mouth, which increases their risk of cavities, and high glucose encourages the growth of thrush, a fungal infection. A diabetic's blood sugar regulation is improved by having a healthy mouth.