Everybody knows that dental health is essential to avoid problems like cavities and gum issues. It sounds obvious, but many people don’t really make the direct connection there is between oral health and your general health overall. A healthy mouth is crucial.
A healthy mouth enables you to absorb nutrition from the foods you eat properly. That’s just the beginning.
Signs and signals
Examining your mouth, as your dentist does during routine visits, can provide clues to major health problems before other symptoms appear. These include,
• The initial signs of HIV infection;
• Ulcers associated with Crohn’s disease and Celiac disease;
• Blood disorders;
• Bulimia and anorexia.
What starts in the mouth…
Conditions that begin in the mouth can affect the entire body. For example, bacteria that grows in the mouth of someone with a compromised immune system can cause serious infections elsewhere in the body, such as infective endocarditis in the heart.
Gum disease is inflammation, and it occurs when plaque builds up on the teeth and hardens into tartar. It can affect the underlying bone as well as the gums themselves. Gingivitis, or inflammation, is the first stage of gum disease. That’s when you will notice blood when you brush or floss. Periodontitis is full blown gum disease.
Gum disease has been associated with a range of health problems. The exact connections between gum disease and systemic disorders is not fully understood, but the connections are clear. Gum disease and cavities contribute to conditions such as,
• Diabetes – people with diabetes are more prone to periodontal disease, which in turn can result in complications;
• Micro-organisms from the mouth can be inhaled into the respiratory tract, causing infections or worsening existing issues such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and COPD;
• Gingivitis may play a role in how arteries become clogged, and even how blood clots. It is believed that the infection in the gums causes inflammation throughout the body.
• A Canadian study showed that people between the ages of 36 and 69 with severe gum disease had a three to seven times increased risk of fatal heart disease.
• People with cavities and gum disease had twice the risk of stroke as those without oral health issues.
• Chronic oral health issues have been linked to problems sleeping, along with behavioral issues in children.
• Some research shows a connection between oral health and certain cancers.
There are ongoing studies examining potential links between oral health and heart disease, as well as the incidence of pre-term, low weight babies. According to estimates by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, up to 18% of all low birth weight babies born in the United States may be due to oral infection.
Oral health is so important! Looking for advice on any area of your dental health to focus on? You’ll find the answer at Dr. Robert Axelrad’s Dental Office in Brampton, ON.
If you’re looking for a well-regarded and highly skilled dentist in the Brampton area, make an appointment with Dr. Robert Axelrad by calling (905)-791-3867. Visit our website to learn more about our dental services.