Research has repeatedly linked oral health with health in the rest of the body. Whereas good oral health supports overall wellness, untreated oral health problems can potentially cause inflammation and disease. Although fillings and other restorative dental treatments can be used to address oral health problems after they appear, prevention is always preferable. Here is more about the connections between oral health and systemic health.
Diabetes Symptoms in the Mouth
Diabetes is one of the systemic diseases most likely to be spotted when patients visit our local dentist office. Left untreated, diabetes can lead to high levels of blood glucose that cause dry mouth in many sufferers. Dry mouth, also called xerostomia, predisposes patients to cavities and gum disease because too little saliva is present to provide immunity and nutrition to oral tissues. When patients have widespread tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath with no apparent cause, our Spindale dentist may prompt patients to get tested for this serious but treatable condition.
Heart Disease from Oral Bacteria
Long-term gum disease involves overgrowth of harmful oral bacteria that live on the teeth and inside pockets in the gums. These bacteria can cause tissue damage and tooth loss in the mouth, but they can also cause or contribute to heart disease and lung disease when they enter the bloodstream through fissures in the gums. As the bacteria circulate through the body, they drive inflammation and disruption of blood vessels. Patients who visit our office may receive oral healthcare tips to help stop the progression of gum disease and potentially reverse it in order to prevent these complications.
Poor Digestion and Nutrient Absorption
Bad oral health can eventually result in tooth loosening and tooth loss, which may be followed by shifting of teeth and development of bite irregularities. Once teeth no longer fit together properly, chewing becomes less effective. This can cause indigestion and poor absorption of nutrients because food is no longer completely broken down. Increased inflammation, reduced immunity and general physical deterioration may occur in the long term. Because nutrients are also necessary for healthy gums and teeth, a cycle of poor health may emerge.
At our local dentist office, patients get comprehensive exams, cleanings and oral healthcare tips to help them achieve and maintain great oral health. Daily brushing and flossing are essential, but other preventive options, such as fluoride and sealants, may also be recommended. Patients who are found to have oral health problems can get the treatment they need from our Spindale dentist to start looking and feeling their best again.