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How Can Poor Oral Health Affect the Rest of the Body?

Did you know that taking good care of your teeth and mouth helps keep your body healthy too? Hello – it’s Dr. Joseph here at Odyssey Dental of Summerfield. My staff and I are not only concerned about your teeth, we’re committed to promoting our patients’ overall health. Take a few minutes and discover how poor oral health can affect the rest of the body and what to do to optimize your dental hygiene.

What Problems Can Occur From Poor Oral Health?

Oral health is extremely important. Our mouth is a pathway for bacteria to enter the body and the bloodstream.  In fact, The American Academy for Oral & Systemic Health calls it “the gateway to the rest of the body.”

Gum disease, cavities, or bad breath can cause issues with your teeth and mouth. Left untreated, poor oral health can cause infection or inflammation in other parts of our body and weaken our immune system. Here are some health issues that can occur.

Respiratory Infections: If you have infected or inflamed gums, that bacteria can transfer into the lungs. This can lead to respiratory infections, pneumonia, or even bronchitis.

Dementia: Inflamed gums can release substances that are harmful to our brain cells. This can lead to memory loss that is a result of bacteria spreading to the nerves.

Cardiovascular Disease: If you have poor oral health, you are at risk for cardiovascular disease. The bacteria from the infected gums enters the bloodstream, and can cause the arteries to build up plaque, putting you at risk for a heart attack.

Prostrate Problems: Men suffering from periodontal disease may develop prostatitis. This condition causes irritation and other prostate-related problems.

Diabetes: Diabetics are more likely to have infected gums compared to those that do not have this disease.  Infected gums can cause unregulated blood sugar levels and make diabetes difficult to control.  And even it you don’t have this chronic condition, gum disease can lead to higher blood sugar levels and put you at risk for developing diabetes.

Other issues caused by poor oral health

Infertility: Poor oral health and infertility are linked. If a woman suffers from gum disease, it can lead to issues with infertility, and may make it difficult to conceive or have a healthy pregnancy.

Cancer: Poor oral health can put patients at risk for kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, or blood cancer. And if you smoke or use tobacco products, this can lead to oral or throat cancers.

Rheumatoid Arthritis: People who have gum disease are more likely to have rheumatoid arthritis. The bacteria in our mouths can increase inflammation in the body, and this increases the risk for developing this condition.

Kidney Disease: This health issue affects not only the kidneys, but the heart, bones, and blood pressure as well. Patients with gum disease typically have weaker immune systems, and this can make them susceptible to infection and disease.

How Can I Prevent These Health Issues?

To help prevent these and other health issues, it’s important to address your teeth and gums. Start by committing to regular dental exams to ensure that you get in front of any problems before they become serious. Our office provides a thorough exam of your teeth and mouth. If there are concerns, we’ll go over them with you and develop a customized treatment plan to take care of any issues right away.

Good oral hygiene can help prevent problems such as gingivitis or periodontal disease, as well as prevent more serious health issues in your body. These tips will help you do your part.

  • Brush and floss your teeth daily
  • Avoid smoking or using any tobacco products
  • Use mouthwash that contains fluoride
  • Avoid food and drinks that contain lots of sugar
  • Eat a well-balanced diet
  • Exercise and take care of your overall health

Healthy Mouth = Healthy Body

When you take care of your oral health, you’re also taking care of your body. If it’s been awhile since you’ve been to the dentist, we’re here to help – no judgement, no lectures. Our mission is to provide you with the best dental care and promote your good health. To make an appointment, use the button below, our contact form, or give us a call at 336-560-3636.

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Odyssey Dental of Summerfield
7506 Summerfield Road
Summerfield, NC 27358