03 May 2021

Ways Your Dental Health Impacts Your Overall Health

“The mouth is the gateway to the human body.”

When you think about your oral health, you might not give much thought to how it’s a reflection of your overall wellness. But as time goes by, scientists have proven over and over that there are direct ties between dental wellness and correlating medical conditions.

It turns out that the more severe conditions like gum disease are, the more likely you are to suffer from aggressive health problems.

Diabetes Linked to Gum Disease

If you’re a diabetic, controlling your blood glucose levels probably seems a lot more important than flossing. But guess what: uncontrolled periodontal disease is scientifically proven to destabilize your blood sugar. So even if you’re taking medication or eating a modified diet for diabetics, an unhealthy mouth can throw all of that off.

The good news is that people with diabetes who co-treat their gum problems while also addressing blood sugar will typically see an improvement in both of them. The cyclic relationship between gum health and blood sugar requires treating both at the same time. Only addressing one or the other typically won’t result in the best outcome. With professional dental hygiene near you, you can regain control over your smile and diabetes together.

Infertility and Reproductive Health

Men and women alike can experience unwanted reproductive health problems if they have untreated gum disease. It may seem a bit odd bringing up infertility at our dental office (Mission Valley) but the truth is that if you have periodontitis, you’re more likely to deal with challenges like:

  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Infertility (men and women alike)
  • Preeclampsia
  • Stillbirth
  • Pre-term labor
  • Low birth weight

The studies that have been presented tend to show that couples with active gum disease who undergo periodontal treatment are more likely to conceive in a shorter timeframe than those who do not. Similarly, men with ED tend to show an improvement in symptoms within a few months of addressing co-existing gum disease. The bacterial load and inflammation inside of your body strain your immune system, which is why the two seem to be related.

Pneumonia and Respiratory Disease

If you’re prone to respiratory illnesses or have active gum infections, inhaling oral bacteria could result in respiratory diseases or pneumonia. Being that your mouth is directly attached to your upper respiratory tract, one could easily see how infectious bacteria could potentially become dislodged and inhaled into the lungs.

This is one of those scenarios where preventative care is the best treatment. Daily brushing, flossing, and routine preventative dental cleanings are your best resources for preventing a respiratory infection. Talk to our dental hygiene team about your current tactics and discuss modifications that can help. Investing in something as simple as an electric toothbrush and a water flosser can make a world of difference.

Heart Attack and Stroke

As we mentioned earlier, the inflammation associated with gum disease can raise inflammation in the body. In turn, you might see issues like high blood pressure. Plus, there’s the fact that diseased gums bleed easily, providing an optimal pathway for oral bacteria to spread into the bloodstream.

People with gum disease are statistically more “at-risk” of suffering from a heart attack or stroke. Oral bacteria have even been found lodged inside of arterial walls, the heart, and blood vessels to the brain of individuals with these conditions. If you already have heart disease or a history of such medical emergencies, it’s time to start paying attention to the health of your mouth. Your life could depend on it.

There’s Good News

Seeing our dentist in Mission Valley for regular preventative care can boost your oral health and stabilize dental infections. In turn, you can see a reduction in overall bacterial load and inflammation throughout your entire body.

How long has it been since you’ve seen your dental hygienist? If it’s been six months or longer, it’s time to schedule your appointment for dental hygiene in Mission Valley. Contact William V. Carlo, DMD today to get your smile — and body — back on track!

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