Oral health touches every aspect of human life but is often neglected. The mouth is a window into the health of your body. It can show signs of nutritional deficiencies or general infection. Even systemic diseases, those that affect the entire body and overall health, may first become apparent because of mouth lesions or other oral problems.
Mouth Bacteria affects the hearts
Studies show that people with gum disease are more likely have heart disease than those with healthy gums. Researchers aren’t sure why that is. It is deduced mouth bacteria causes inflammation and thus blockage of the blood vessels which damages not only the heart but the overall health. Thus it makes sense to take care of your mouth like you do the rest of your body.
Gum Diseases and Diabetes
Diabetes reduces human body’s resistance to infection. Elevated blood sugars also increase the risk of developing gum disease. Similarly gum diseases makes it harder to keep blood sugar levels in check. It is advisable to protect your gums by keeping blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible. Regular oral hygiene, brushing after each meal, floss and rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash daily. Check-up with dentist at least twice a year and sometimes frequently according to dentists’ advice.
Dry Mouth and Tongue can cause Tooth Decay
Dry mouth is the uncomfortable feeling that there is not enough saliva in the mouth. Everyone has a dry mouth once in a while. But if this happens most of the time then it is a cause and a symptom of a serious health problem. The technical term for dry mouth is called xerostomia. Saliva helps protect teeth and gums from bacteria that cause cavities and gingivitis. So a perpetually dry mouth is more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease. Drinking water is a good way to prevent dry mouth but of it persist consult a doctor.
Medications that cause oral health problems
Oral health problem s have various causes but the most common is dry mouth. A chronically dry mouth raises risk of cavities and gum disease, you may want to check your medicine cabinet. Antihistamines, decongestants, painkillers, and antidepressants are among the drugs that can cause dry mouth. Talk to your doctor or dentist to find out if your medication regimen is affecting your oral health, and what you can do about it.
Stress and Teeth Grinding
Stress, anxiousness or depression, may put you at higher risk for oral health problems. People under stress produce high levels of the human cortisol. The human cortisol wreaks havoc on the gums and body. Stress also leads to poor oral care. It is found that more than 50% of people don’t brush or floss regularly when stressed. Other stress-related habits include smoking, drinking alcohol, and clenching and gridding teeth called bruxism.
Osteoporosis and Tooth Loss
The fragile bone disease osteoporosis affects all the bones in your body, including your jaw bone. It can cause tooth loss. Bacteria from periodontitis which is severe gum disease, can also break down the jaw bone. One kind of osteoporosis medication, bisphosphonates may slightly increase the risk of a rare condition called osteonecrosis which cause bone death of the jaw. This is usually only a concern after involved dental surgery. Inform your dentist if you take the medicine.
Pale Gums and Anemia
Anemic people’s mouth are generally sore and pale. Your tongue can become swollen and smooth (glossitis). When you have anemia, your body doesn’t have enough red blood cells or your red blood cells do not contain enough hemoglobin. The less blood cells or hemoglobin can result in your body not getting enough oxygen. There are different types of anemia, and treatment varies. Talk to your doctor to find out what type of anemia you suffer and how to treat it.
Eating Disorder Erode Tooth Enamel
A dentist may be the first to notice signs of an eating disorders. Bulimia, anorexia and other eating disorders are dangerous and deadly. Bulimia, the most common disorder is when a person consumes a lot of food in a short while and purge it out. The stomach acid from repeated vomiting can severely erode tooth enamel. Purging can also trigger swelling in the mouth, throat, and salivary glands as well as bad breath. The eating disorders damages oral health as well.
Oral Infection and HIV
People with HIV or AIDS are prone to develop oral thrush, oral warts, fever blisters, canker sores and hairy leukoplakia, which are white or gray patches on the tongue or inside of the cheek. The body’s weakened immune system and its inability to stave off infections are to blame for the oral problems. HIV/AIDS patients also experience dry mouth which increases the risk of tooth decay and make chewing, eating, swallowing or talking difficult.
Treating gum disease may help Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
People with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are eight times more likely to have gum disease than people without this autoimmune disease. Inflammation is the common denominator between the two. Making matters worse; people with RA can have trouble brushing and flossing because of damage to finger joints. The good news is that treating existing gum inflammation and infection can also reduce joint pain and inflammation.
Tooth Loss and Kidney Disease
Adults without teeth are more likely to have chronic kidney disease than those who still have teeth. Exactly how kidney disease and periodontal disease are linked is not clear yet but researchers suggest that chronic inflammation is the common link. So taking care of your teeth and gums in result will reduce your risk of developing chronic kidney problems.
Gum Disease and Premature Birth
According to reports, if you are pregnant and have gum disease, your baby is likely to be born too early and too small. Exactly how the two conditions are linked remains poorly understood. Underlying inflammation or infections may be to blame. Pregnancy and its related hormonal changes also appear to worsen gum disease. Talk to your obstetrician or dentist to find out how to protect yourself and your baby.
What healthy gums look like?
Healthy gums should look pink and firm. There shall be no red patches and swelling. To keep gums healthy and in turn you overall health, practice good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth twice a day, floss at least once a day, rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash once or twice a day. Visit your dentist regularly. Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco.