How often do you do a complete body checkup? How about a full dental checkup? Chances are that you rarely go to the dentist, even if you regularly visit a physician. But did you know that your oral health and general health are interconnected?
Your oral health can affect your general health, and you can take it a an indication. Poor oral health is even linked to heart diseases, cancer, and diabetes. It also affects your quality of life and medical costs.
Through this blog, you’ll be able to learn how your dental health is directly linked to your general health and other aspects of your life.
Health Problems Related To Poor Oral Health
- Heart Diseases
According to Harvard Health Publishing, people with gum disease (also known as periodontal disease) have two to three times the risk of having a heart attack, stroke, or other serious cardiovascular events.
This is because the periodontal disease causes inflammation, leading to health problems like atherosclerosis. The bacteria can also infect the inner lining of your heart and cause endocarditis.
Oral health problems like tooth loss, gingivitis, edentulousness, and dental caries are all associated with dementia. People with dementia have higher levels of plaque and can have other related issues as well. Some experience a reduced salivary flow.
The bacteria causing gingivitis can also cause Alzheimer’s disease by entering your brain through the bloodstream or nerve channels.
- Respiratory Infections
Your mouth is the direct doorway to your lungs. If the bacteria that enter your mouth are not removed, they can spread to the lungs. You can worsen lung diseases that include chronic inflammation like asthma by gum diseases.
Some medicines prescribed for lung problems can also cause tooth damage.
- Diabetic complications
Everyone knows that sugar is a significant cause of dental problems. But did you know that it also works the other way? Periodontal issues make it harder to control your blood sugar problems.
Inflammation in the mouth can negatively affect the body’s ability to balance sugar levels. Swollen and bleeding gums can even be an indication of diabetes.
Other Problems Caused By Poor Dental Health
Poor dental care does not only affect your health but also affects other aspects of your life. Here are a few ways it can affect your wellbeing.
- Lower Self Esteem
People with dental disorders seem to have lower self-esteem, affecting their psychosocial behavior. People might even be afraid to open their mouths if there are any visible deformities. Even minor problems like bad breath can make you conscious and hinder your performance.
- More Medical Cost
Due to the lack of awareness about dental disorders, most people do not check for their coverage under medical insurance schemes. Insurance companies take advantage of this lack of awareness and conveniently omit them.
Most health insurance plans do not cover dental care. People are not aware of the ways dental problems can affect a person’s general health. All this can cost the patients a lot. This is why it’s best to conduct regular dental checkups to detect any problems at an early stage.
- Problems Related To Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a period marked by a lot of hormonal changes. It makes the pregnant mother more prone to oral infections. Mother’s suffering from periodontitis and gingivitis are at an increased risk of premature birth. The children might even be born with low birth weight. Serious health issues can affect the mother and child if the mother faces gum problems.
How To Take Care Of Your Teeth
- Use a soft bristle toothbrush and brush twice a day. Make sure you cover all three surfaces of your teeth- the outside, the inside, and the biting surface.
- Use fluoridated toothpaste to strengthen teeth and finish with an antibacterial mouthwash.
- The sides of your teeth are extra prone to cavities and gum infections. Use floss or a floss substitute to scrape off the plaque.
- Make sure you brush before bed to minimize the effect of the bacteria that cause dry mouth.
- Protect your gum line from plaque to avoid gum damage and bone erosion. To do this, you can brush gently along your gum line.
- Visit a dentist regularly to remove tartar and check the side effects of any medication you take.
Signs That You Need To See A Dentist
- Dirty teeth
If you notice that your teeth change to a slight yellow hue, it might be a sign to see a dentist. This staining is typically caused by certain food items like turmeric, coffee, and tea. Chain smoking can also cause this color change.
If you notice your gums bleeding after brushing or flossing, don’t dismiss it, considering it normal. It is one of the early symptoms of periodontal disease or gingivitis. Left untreated, it can weaken the bones and tissues around your teeth and cause tooth loss. Your dentist might recommend dental scaling to reverse gingivitis.
- Foul Odor From Mouth
Bad breath or halitosis can be a sign of gingivitis, periodontitis, dry mouth (xerostomia), and mouth breathing. Artificial saliva, tablets, and oral shields can help tackle this situation.
You should not ignore pain, sensitivity, and cavities in your teeth. It can be a sign of a broken tooth, abscess, damaged filling, enamel damage, or grinding your teeth. Visit a dentist to find the right reason and treat it in time to avoid inflammation and infection.
Remember that your oral health is linked to your general health and wellbeing. Don’t avoid any signs and symptoms and visit the dentist for regular checkups. Early detection is the best way to prevent diseases and increased dental expenditure.