Your friendly neighborhood Greenville SC dentist will tell you this: oral health affects much more than the gums and teeth. Since the mouth is a prime entrance to the body, bacteria and other harmful foreign bodies from the mouth can easily invade our bloodstream and spread all around our system. Suboptimal dental health can lead to more negative consequences on the body, aside from the usual toothache. Visit your dentist regularly to lessen the risk of these health disorders.
Respiratory Tract Infections
Bacteria in the mouth have easy access to your lungs through respiration. Swollen gums and infected teeth house foreign bodies that can travel to your lungs and your bloodstream. Once there, the bacteria can cause numerous respiratory-related problems, such as infections, acute bronchitis, pneumonia, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Problems In Pregnancy
Child-bearing mothers are expected to practice good dental health and hygiene. Any infection in the body of the mother increases the risk of pregnancy problems, especially since the hormonal changes to a woman’s body during pregnancy allow diseases to develop much easier. Dental health disorders, such as gingivitis and periodontitis, are linked to low birth weight and premature births in infants. So a dental health disease puts not only one, but two individuals at risk.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a painful autoimmune inflammatory disease. A study conducted by the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society found out that people with gum disorders are four times more exposed to the risk of developing RA. Swelling of joints is a manifestation of RA, and the bacteria from oral infections can contribute to the increase of inflammation throughout the body.
Poor oral health contributes to the development of heart diseases. Bacteria inside inflamed gums due to periodontal disease can get into the bloodstream and may cause hardening of arteries, called atherosclerosis. This disorder may lead to blood flow problems and blockages, increasing the chances of strokes and heart attacks. Endocarditis, an often fatal condition characterized by an infection of the inner lining of your heart, can also develop.
Oral health affects the whole body and not merely your mouth. Practice good oral hygiene, eat food not detrimental to dental health and visit your Greenville, SC dentist for regular check-ups. Remember, prevention is better than cure, and the best way to avoid complications due to dental health is to practice good oral hygiene and visit your dentist regularly.