The mouth is the ‘entryway to the body’ and bacteria build up on your gums, teeth, and tongue can influence your overall health in many ways. Keep your mouth and teeth healthy; brush and floss every day – at minimum two times per day. Dentists recommend avoiding foods high in sugar and tobacco products. Visit your dentist or oral hygiene professional every six months.
Naturally, poor dental hygiene can lead to tooth decay or cavities. Despite what you might think, cavities do not only occur in children. Adults can get them too. The teeth have a hard outer coating called enamel. Over time, a thin layer of bacteria (dental plaque) will build up on the teeth; this produces bacteria that can cause a hole in this enamel if not treated. Brush and floss to protect your teeth from decay, however, once a cavity develops; your dentist has to repair the issue.
Gum disease is another sign of poor dental hygiene. Plaque builds up along, and under the gum line, infections may occur harming the gums and bones that hold the teeth in place. The most severe gum disease is a periodontal disease. In this case, an infection has become so severe that bone deterioration can occur, leading to tooth loss.
Bad dental health can also cause Halitosis – bad breath – this occurs when small food particles lodge between the teeth that collect bacteria and emit chemicals such as hydrogen sulfide.
Maintaining good dental health goes beyond your mouth, teeth, gums, and breath. Bacteria originating in the mouth can move through the body and cause more acute health problems.
Bacteria from periodontal disease travel through the bloodstream to the lungs where it aggravates the respiratory system. There is a direct link between gum disease and an increased risk of pneumonia and acute bronchitis. Work with a dentist or periodontist, to avoid or reduce the development of illness such as COPD, pneumonia or other such critical health concerns.
Increased Challenges for Diabetics
Over 90% of adults with diabetes experience periodontal disease, and many have a more progressed version of the illness that leads to tooth loss; people with diabetes are more receptive to developing infections. There is a link between gum disease and diabetes. The periodontal disease makes it difficult to control blood sugar; ongoing diabetic complications are imminent.
Possibility of Heart Disease or Stroke
Periodontal disease can cause heart disease and arterial narrowing as a result of bacteria and plaque entering the bloodstream through the gums. There are bacteria’s containing a clot-promoting protein that block arteries and increase the risk of heart attack. High levels of disease-causing bacteria from the mouth can clog the carotid artery; the blood vessel that delivers blood to the brain and head, and increases the risk of having a stroke.
Possibility of Dementia Amplified
Poor dental health can result in tooth loss and trigger the risk for memory loss and early stage Alzheimer’s disease. Gum infections release inflammatory elements that increase brain swelling that can lead to neurological, nervous system and spinal cord complications.
You may think you have your oral hygiene under control with daily brushing; ensure your overall oral health and schedule your next routine dental exam today! And, keep smiling!
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