Poor Oral Hygiene can lead to Diabetes, Heart Disease and More
Regular dental checkups and daily oral hygiene can help us stay healthier and may prevent systemic diseases
How well we take care of our mouths (oral hygiene) is an indicator of how well we take care of our bodies. Our mouths affect our bodies and our bodies affect our mouths.
In fact, how well a person takes care of their mouth could actually affect the entire body. That’s because bacteria that builds up on teeth can make gums prone to infection. When this happens the immune system will attack the infection and the gums become inflamed.
Chemicals from the inflammation eat away at the gums and bone structure that holds teeth in place. This is most commonly known as periodontal or gum disease.
But poor oral hygiene can actually affect us at a much deeper level.
Did you know that poor oral hygiene is deeply connected to the following:
Inflammation in the gums increases the risk for a heart attack because the inflamed blood vessels don’t push as much blood flow to the heart, which then pumps it to the rest of the body. Plaque can break off the wall of the blood vessel and it can travel to the heart or brain, which may cause a heart attack or stroke.
Inflammation in the mouth weakens the body’s ability to control blood sugar. Since people with diabetes can’t process or control blood sugar very well, it increases complications.
Problems in Pregnancy
Inflammation and infection in the gums of pregnant women may interfere with the development of the fetus. And due to hormonal changes during pregnancy, soon-to-be mothers need regular dental exams even more than others to make sure their oral health does not adversely affect their child.
Periodontitis (gum disease) and osteoporosis can both cause bone loss. In fact, some studies have found that women with osteoporosis have gum disease more often than those who do not.
Those who smoke are three times more likely to suffer from gum disease. That’s because smoking causes the gums to weaken against the dangers of infection. Not to mention the discoloration of the teeth and the risk of oral cancer.
How to Maintain Your Oral Health
A good rule of thumb: brush twice a day, floss one to two times per day, and see your dentist for regular cleanings and exams. If it’s been awhile since you’ve had had a checkup, make an appointment with the professionals at Longmeadow Family Dental Care today.