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How oral health impacts overall health

graphic showing overall health

It may be easy to overlook a cavity or a minor toothache, but what’s going on inside your mouth shouldn’t be ignored. Your teeth and gums host an entire community of bad bacteria that, left unchecked, can sabotage your overall oral health.

Most don’t get any help until it’s too late — when they’re experiencing severe toothaches or other symptoms that indicate the bacteria has already done its job.

Because bad oral health can significantly affect your overall wellness, you need to make the right changes now. Why risk your health when your dentist can likely fix any oral issue you’re experiencing during a routine or follow-up visit?

1. Heart Issues

If you have gum disease, you likely experience inflammation in these affected areas of your mouth. Did you know that this inflammation is caused by bacteria? This bacteria doesn’t just stay in gums. As your gum disease worsens, it can also travel through your bloodstream to your heart’s arteries. Once it does this, plaque can develop on your arteries’ walls, thickening them and dangerously increasing your chances of a stroke or heart attack.

Finding treatments for heart issues like this can be difficult because of the damage the bacteria causes. Doctors can try different treatments, but they usually don’t make promises for these types of cases.

2.  Diabetic Complications

Gum disease has been known to negatively affect blood sugar, making it hard to control. If you have diabetes, your condition will likely be a bit worse due to the poor state of your oral health.

Because people with diabetes are already prone to gum disease, it’s a never-ending cycle of risk. For others, poor oral health can bring on diabetes as a new health issue.

Even though diabetes is manageable, it’s never really easy for anyone to handle. If you can prevent yourself from getting it just by taking care of your teeth, do it.

3. Respiratory Infections

As we already said, the bacteria in your mouth caused by gum disease doesn’t just stay in the affected area. It can travel through your bloodstream, and it can also be inhaled. Inhaling the bacteria from your inflamed gums and infected teeth can lead to serious lung complications, like pneumonia, bronchitis, and even chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Not only are lung issues extremely uncomfortable but they can also prevent you from living your life normally. Even though more common problems like pneumonia and bronchitis are treatable, you can avoid them entirely just by visiting your dentist regularly and maintaining your oral health.

4. Dementia

Recent studies have found that there’s a strong link between gum disease and dementia. Experts discovered that bacteria inside of the gum lines can spread directly to the brain through the nerves and bloodstream, and cause cognitive function to decline.

While doctors can try to manage dementia with different practices, there’s no cure.

Fix Your Oral Health Today

At denTEL, we offer every dental resource possible so you can have great oral health. If you need help searching for a dentist, you can find one through our website by using rating and radius to narrow your choices. Once you do that, we have a plethora of blogs and guides as well as a patient library to help make your next dental visit a great one.

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