Keeping your teeth healthy is important to preserve your overall health. Aching teeth, bleeding gums, and a bad breath are all signs of poor dental health. Unhealthy teeth and gums allow bacteria to get into the bloodstream, resulting in infection and inflammation in all of its organ systems. It’s essential to maintain proper dental hygiene and visit a dental specialist regularly to prevent serious risks to your overall well being.
Continue reading to discover seven severe health problems that can arise from poor dental health.
Bad dental health can negatively affect your brain. If the substances released from infected gums enter your bloodstream, they can kill brain cells and cause memory loss. By damaging your nerve channels, oral bacteria can potentially lead to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Diabetes makes you prone to infections like gingivitis and periodontitis. And gum disease can in turn make diabetes more difficult to manage. Gingivitis can increase your blood sugar, worsening the symptoms of diabetes.
Diabetics need to practice proper oral hygiene to prevent their disease from getting more severe. Because gingivitis can lead to abnormal blood sugar levels, a person with bad dental health is at higher risk of experiencing diabetes. Consider visiting a dental specialist at the earliest clinical sign of gingivitis to prevent further symptoms.
3. Heart disease
Periodontal bacteria can inflame your gums and get into your bloodstream. This bacteria can cause plaque accumulation in your arteries, making them narrower. This narrowing of the arteries is called atherosclerosis. Narrowed blood arteries cause poor blood circulation and put you at risk of experiencing a heart attack.
Decreased blood flow and damaged arteries can lead to strokes. Bacteria in your bloodstream can also result in endocarditis, which is a potentially lethal condition that develops due to inflammation in your heart’s inner lining.
4. Respiratory infections
Your respiratory system can become infected due to bad dental health. Bacteria in the mouth from a dental abscess and gum disease can travel into the lungs through the nasal cavity or bloodstream. When in your lungs, oral bacteria can cause respiratory infections, pneumonia, chest cold, and even chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Bad dental health and nasty habits like smoking or using tobacco are linked to oral and throat cancers. However, there are other types of cancer believed to be caused by gum disease. Infected gums can put you at risk of suffering from liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, kidney cancer, and blood cancers.
6. Rheumatoid arthritis
People who have gum disease are four times more susceptible to rheumatoid arthritis. These conditions can worsen the symptoms of each other. The oral bacteria from gum disease can worsen the inflammation in all of your body. Rheumatoid arthritis causes bleeding while brushing and leads to gum recession and tooth loss.
7. Kidney disease
Kidney disease means that your kidneys are damaged and can’t function properly. This disease can affect your cardiovascular system, bones, and blood vessels. Infectious diseases like periodontitis can put you at higher risk of having kidney disease. People with the periodontal disease typically have weakened immune systems and are more vulnerable to infections. Kidney disease can lead to potentially lethal health problems like kidney failure or heart disease.
The bottom line
Preserve your overall health by practicing good dental hygiene and undergoing routine dental checkups and cleanings. Remember that oral infections like gingivitis or periodontitis can lead to various health issues like diabetes, different types of cancer, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and dementia. Consider visiting a gums specialist to treat gum infections in their early stage and prevent them from recurring.