Did you know that harmful bacteria in your mouth can affect other parts of your body? Dentists do more than give you a pearly white smile—they also help prevent health conditions that result from poor oral health.
All of the systems, organs, and tissues in our body work together. They aren’t isolated from each other—they’re all interconnected. If you have excessive bacteria in your mouth, they can spread to other parts of your body and lead to infections, diseases, or other complications.
Here’s how your oral health can affect your overall health:
Heart disease is the 2nd leading cause of death in Canada. When plaque builds up in the arteries of the heart, it can lead to a fatal heart attack.
Gum disease has not yet been shown to cause cardiovascular disease; however, it does seem to correlate with it. This could be due to how oral bacteria lead to infections and inflammations, which may affect the heart.
Recent studies have revealed a link between dementia and gum disease. Bacteria in the mouth can travel to the brain via the bloodstream. This may damage various parts of the brain and influence the development of dementia.
Since this research is new, it’s too early to say whether gum disease causes conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. However, it’s important to take the best possible care of your teeth, just in case.
Diabetes and your oral health interact in several ways. When you have diabetes, your body is less resistant to infections. This makes you more susceptible to developing gum disease.
Once you develop gum disease, the infection makes it harder for your body to regulate blood sugar levels. You can probably see why this is problematic for those with diabetes, a condition that already increases the blood glucose levels in your body.
If you have diabetes, we suggest scheduling frequent check-ups with your dentist. You might choose to go every 4 months instead of just twice a year.
As we breathe, air travels through our mouth, down our throat, and into our lungs. But what if the bacteria in our mouth travel with it? Harmful bacteria can cause an infection in the lungs, such as pneumonia.
For older adults or those with existing health conditions, pneumonia can be fatal. This is why it’s so important to maintain good oral health.
If you have a cavity, you might notice that your gums are inflamed. Gum disease is also known to cause inflammation. Could those same bacteria also cause inflammation in the joints, such as the hands, feet, and legs? If you have arthritis, it’s important to monitor your oral health closely.
By taking good care of your teeth, you’re taking good care of the rest of your body, too.
Are you concerned about your health? Along with booking a doctor’s appointment, you might want to call your dentist. At Fresh Dental in Winnipeg, we can take care of all your oral health needs.
Whether you need a cleaning, root canal, or dental implant, we do it all at our dental clinic. To schedule your appointment, call us today!