Maintaining good oral hygiene is important if you want a healthy mouth, but did you know that it could help prevent other health problems? Studies have shown that certain dental problems are linked to various diseases and conditions.
- Cardiovascular Disease – In simple terms, this means heart disease. If your gums get inflamed, or you develop periodontal (gum) disease, the bacteria that cause those conditions can enter the bloodstream and travel to the arteries in the heart. This can cause a condition called atherosclerosis, where plaque develops on the inner walls of the arteries. This plaque may thicken and thus decrease or block blood flow through the body, increasing the risk of heart attack or stroke. Another condition that may develop is endocarditis, where the inner lining of the heart becomes infected and inflamed.
- Dementia – If you develop gingivitis, the bacteria from the disease can enter the brain, either through the bloodstream or nerve channels in the head. This could even lead to the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Respiratory Infections – This connection might not seem obvious, but just as bacteria from infected teeth and gums can get into your bloodstream, it can also get into your lungs, leading to infections that include pneumonia.
- Diabetic Complications – Individuals with diabetes are more susceptible to periodontal disease, which in turn can worsen diabetes symptoms and make it harder to control blood sugar. Therefore, dental care is even more important for patients with diabetes.
In addition to helping you keep your body healthy, maintaining a healthy smile can make you feel good by boosting your self-confidence. It’s easier to walk around with confidence when you don’t have to worry about your dental health or the appearance of your smile. Ready to improve your oral and overall health? Book an appointment for your next routine dental visit today!