Your oral health and overall health are closely linked. Many don’t realize that a bad tooth isn’t just a bad tooth. With a rotten tooth you could be inviting bacteria into your bloodstream, which can carry the bacteria to other bodily systems and cause harm. Medical scientists are discovering new details about the close link between our oral and overall health. Here are just a few:
- Cardiovascular disease – Clogged arteries and strokes associated with heart disease may be linked to a person’s oral health. The same bacteria that causes oral inflammation and infection have been linked to those that affect heart disease. The bacteria that courses through your bloodstream from an oral infection can have serious effects on your heart!
- Premature birth – Both premature birth and low birth weight have been linked to particularly severe cases of periodontal disease. This disease is the most progressed form of gum disease, and may put pregnant women at risk for fetal complications if left untreated.
- Diabetic conditions – Those with diabetes must take care to control their blood sugar, but unchecked oral health problems can make this difficult. Medical research has shown that those with diabetes and gum disease have a significantly tougher time controlling their blood sugar than those who do not.
- Endocarditis – Endocarditis is an infection that occurrs within the inner lining of the heart. It is caused by bacteria in other parts of the body traveling through the bloodstream and making their way into the organ. The bacteria in one’s mouth can travel into their blood, through their bloodstream, and attach to damaged portions of the heart causing this condition.
While these are just some of the many conditions that can be linked to oral health problems, they are some of the most serious. The best way to avoid oral health conditions affecting other parts of the body is to take care of your teeth and any concerns requiring a dentist’s intervention. Allowing infections to go unchecked in the mouth presents the perfect opportunity for mouth bacteria to spread throughout the body, causing bodily systems to be stressed and deteriorate.
Consider the time and financial investments in their oral health as investments in the overall health of your body. With a healthy mouth, you’re giving yourself your best chance at a healthier life. Your organs will thank you for it!