Posted on 12/21/2020 by Amir Sanjabi, DDS
Your dental health involves more than just having clean teeth and an attractive smile. The health of your mouth, teeth, and gums can actually be an indicator of your overall health, as there are several medical conditions that can be traced back to oral health.
Bacteria In Your Mouth
In addition to being the main body part involved in eating, talking, and smiling, your mouth is also the entryway to both your respiratory system and your digestive tract. Bacteria in your mouth can enter your digestive system and cause gastrointestinal issues, spread to your lungs and cause pneumonia, or infect your heart and contribute to endocarditis and other cardiovascular diseases that can be life-threatening. Of course, genetics, lifestyle choices, age, and other risk factors all contribute to heart disease as well, but the importance of maintaining proper oral hygiene cannot be understated. Neglecting your dental health makes you susceptible to gum disease and other infections that can spread throughout your body and affect your overall health. Gum disease in pregnant women has even been linked to pre-term birth and birth complications.
Conditions That Affect Oral Health
Just like your oral health can contribute to certain medical conditions, there are also conditions that directly affect your oral health. People with diseases that interfere with the body’s ability to fight infection, such as diabetes, are more susceptible to gum disease, tooth decay, and other oral infections. Diabetes also hinders your blood sugar level control, creating the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive in your mouth.
Another medical condition that can cause oral health problems is HIV/AIDS. HIV/AIDS attacks your immune system, making you more vulnerable to all kinds of infections. People with HIV/AIDS frequently develop oral conditions such as lesions, ulcers, thrush, and tooth decay. Contact our office to learn more about the connection between your dental health and your overall health.