The Link Between Oral Health and Overall Health

The Link Between Oral Health and Overall Health

Mar 15, 2023

The mouth is a part of our health that we usually ignore. However, it’s an important indication of our general health. Untreated dental diseases can lead to reduced work productivity and reduce our quality of life. Routine dental exams and professional teeth cleaning appointments are essential for oral health and overall well-being. Read further to know how oral health links to your general health. 

What is the Association Between General Health and Oral Health?

Our mouth is loaded with bacteria (most of which are harmless). Did you know there are nearly 6 million bacteria in the mouth of one individual? The bacteria are well managed by the natural defense system of our body as long we maintain good oral hygiene. 

Our mouth is also the entry point to the respiratory tract system and digestive systems. Few of these mouth bacteria reach the level causing serious health diseases. The dentist in Phoenix says that ignoring good dental care hygiene is the main reason behind that. 

Most dental diseases share common risk factors with diabetes, cancers, respiratory diseases, and other chronic conditions. As per the studies
, mouth bacteria have a connection with gum disease that may result in the following health conditions:

Diabetes

Diabetic people are more prone to periodontal disease. It’s a bone and gum infection that holds the teeth in their position. Since diabetes delays the healing process of our body, it interferes with periodontal disease treatment. Other oral health issues diabetes can cause include oral thrush and dry mouth. 

Cardiovascular Diseases

Poor dental hygiene also enhances the risk of cardiovascular diseases. When the gums are inflamed, blood vessels stop the movement of blood flow to the heart. Cardiovascular disease can occur in the form of:

a) Blocked Arteries

Studies show that individuals suffering from periodontal disease are at a high risk of atherosclerosis. This condition occurs when the plaque accumulates inside the blood vessels that supply oxygen and blood to the body from the heart. 

b) Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary Artery Disease is the most common heart disease and the primary cause of death in the USA. 

c) Heart Attack or Stroke

Dental plaque can even break off the blood vessel wall and move to the brain or heart. This ultimately results in a heart stroke or attack. 

Endocarditis

Endocarditis is a condition where the lining of heart valves becomes inflamed. If you have an existing heart problem, endocarditis can be dangerous and need instant treatment at the dentist office near you. It can occur when the germs or bacteria from the mouth move via the bloodstream and attach to particular regions in the heart. 

Pneumonia

Pneumonia is a respiratory condition that occurs when mouth bacteria aspirate into the upper airway and lungs. Cavities
 have been connected to developing this lung infection. 

Pregnancy and Birth Issues

Gum inflammation and infection have been associated
 with low birth weight and premature birth. Therefore, if you are a mother-to-be, make sure you schedule routine dental exams more often at Encanto family dental care. It will ensure that your dental health does not cause pregnancy issues. 

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disease that makes bones weak and enhances the risk of fractures. Nearly 10 million
 people in America are suffering from the condition. Several studies
 show a direct connection between the bones of an individual and their oral health. 

Other Problems 

When cavities are untreated for a long time, it results in poor development and nutrition in kids. They can also cause:

  • Face swelling.

  • Cellulitis.

  • Gum diseases. 

Factors That Contribute to Oral and Systemic Health

The following factors can affect your oral health and overall well-being:

Body’s Response to the Bacteria

Every individual uniquely responds to the bacteria. In a few people, this bacteria can lead to inflammation and other damage. Inflammatory molecules (C-reactive protein) are high in individuals with systemic and periodontal disease. 

Genetics

Few individuals are more prone to getting systemic and periodontal disease. 

Few Medical Conditions

A few medical disorders and conditions can result in dental health issues. These include:

  • Diabetes

  • Osteoporosis.

  • HIV/AIDS.

  • Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Prostate cancer.

  • Fibromyalgia.

  • Rheumatoid arthritis.

Several studies show the link
 between these health conditions and periodontal disease. 

Common Risk Factors

Systemic disorders and periodontal disease have the following common risk factors. These include:

  • Excess use of alcohol and tobacco.

  • High stress.

  • Poor diet (mainly high in sugar).