Bleeding gums, Aching teeth, Bad breath – Are all of these just indicators of poor oral health? No, they are indicators of poor overall health. Symptoms in your mouth can provide clues for dysfunction in the rest of your body. Hippocrates in 400 BCE proposed pulling teeth as a cure for arthritis. More than 2,000 years later, the best dentists in Mumbai suggest that there’s a synergic relationship between oral health and overall wellness.
Therefore, it is imperative to practice good oral hygiene and to see your dentist regularly in order to avoid serious risk to the body’s overall health.
How does your dental health affect overall health?
It is a fact that your mouth is teeming with more bacteria than people on Earth. Mostly, the body’s natural defenses can fight the bacteria and keep infection and inflammation under control provided good oral hygiene measures such as daily brushing and flossing are followed. When good dental hygiene practices are neglected over a period of time, bacteria levels begin to increase leading to oral infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease. This can have negative consequences for the entire body as the mouth is the primary entryway into the body. This bacteria from the mouth can travel via the bloodstream and cause infection and inflammation in other parts of the body.
Let’s look at some common and serious health problems caused by bad oral health-
Poor dental hygiene increases the risk for heart disease. If the gums are inflamed due to the bacteria, it can actually get into the bloodstream causing the arteries to build up plaque and harden. This leads to blood flow problems and heart blockages, increasing the likelihood of having a heart attack. This bacteria can also reach the heart valves via blood and cause endocarditis which is a very serious condition.
It is critical for expectant mothers to practice good dental hygiene according to the best dentists in Mumbai. Hormonal changes in the body during pregnancy makes a woman more prone to develop oral infections. These infections escalate her risk of experiencing complications like premature birth and low birth weight in infants.
Recent research has proved a link between poor dental care and infertility in women. Gum disease can make it more challenging for a woman to conceive and sustain a healthy pregnancy.
It is a fact that poor dental hygiene puts a man at an inflated risk for suffering from erectile dysfunction. Bacteria from diseased gums can get into the bloodstream and cause blood vessels to become inflamed which can further block the blood flow to the genitals, making erections more difficult or even impossible to achieve.
Recent research showed people with gum disease were four times more likely to have Rheumatoid Arthritis. The oral bacteria from gum disease can hike inflammation throughout the body and put you at risk for developing rheumatoid arthritis, a painful and debilitating inflammatory disease.
Mouth is the common gateway for respiratory and digestive systems. Bacteria in the mouth from infected teeth and swollen gums can reach the lungs leading to respiratory infections, pneumonia, acute bronchitis, and even COPD.
According to the best dentists in Mumbai, oral health and diabetes have a two-way relation. Diabetics are more susceptible to gum infections. People with gum disease can suffer difficulty controlling their blood sugar levels. It is of prime importance for diabetics to take good care of their oral health to prevent complications with their disease. Gum disease can lead to higher blood sugar levels, putting you at a higher risk of developing diabetes.
Worsening gum health is common as Alzheimer’s disease progresses.
In line with the best dentists in Mumbai, dental plaque accumulation and gum disease can intensify the likelihood of the COVID-19 virus reaching the lungs and causing more severe cases of infection.
Pro-tips on prevention by the best dentists in Mumbai
The simplest way to prevent serious health issues caused by bad dental health is to practice good dental care and dental hygiene and schedule regular visits with your dentist.
To practice good dental hygiene:
Healthy teeth = Teeth that are clean and free of pain caused by cavities and disease
Healthy gums = Pink gums that do not bleed when brushed or flossed
Healthy teeth + Healthy gums = Good oral health
Good oral health = Good overall health.