An attractive, well-maintained smile can be a great attribute. But good oral care is important for more reasons than you might realize. If you’re not taking care of your teeth and gums, your overall health might also be suffering.
Recent research has found that poor oral health is linked to:
- Heart disease
- Early labor
- And more
Exactly why your oral health is closely tied to your overall health isn’t exactly understood, but there are enough indicators that it should encourage all of us to take better care of our teeth.
Gum disease and diabetes
It’s already an established fact the people with type 2 diabetics have an increased incidence of gum disease. Participants in a recent study who had higher levels of periodontal disease were also shown to have a twofold risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The theory is that serious infection in the mouth can lead to low-grade inflammation throughout the body, which affects proper sugar-processing functions.
Gum disease and cardiovascular conditions
These two problems often show up together, partly because they’re both related to other potential risk factors, smoking and aging. One theory is that small amounts of bacteria enter the bloodstream while we’re chewing, and bad bacteria from an infected mouth can lodge itself inside blood vessels, ultimately causing dangerous blockages. Scientists have sometimes found fragments of periodontal bacteria in atherosclerotic blood vessels; and aggressive treatment of gum disease has been shown to reduce the incidence of atherosclerosis within six months.
Gum disease and early labor
Pregnant women can experience gum infections due to fluctuating hormone levels. But it can also be the result of neglecting their oral care during pregnancy. Some report that brushing their teeth makes them feel nauseated, as does the taste of minty toothpaste. But scientists warn that gum disease and inflammation in the mouth can possibly trigger an increase in the chemical compound prostaglandin, which can induce early labor.
Gum disease is avoidable
Talk to your dentist – for the sake of your head-to-toe health. Call for an appointment today: (304) 754-8803.