IS YOUR SMILE KEEPING YOU HEALTHY?
“Taking good care of your teeth and gums isn’t just about preventing cavities or bad breath. The mouth is a window into the health of the body. It can show if you are not eating foods that are best for you or signal that you may be at risk for a disease. Diseases that affect the entire body (such as leukemia or diabetes) may first be noticed because of gum disease or oral problems.
“The mouth is filled with many bacteria, some linked to tooth decay and gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. Periodontal disease may be connected with diabetes and cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke). However, a link between these two conditions and periodontal disease does not mean that one condition causes the other.”
Taken from the American Dental Association pamphlet…2011.
Oral health comes in many forms, but the deterioration or disease of the gums is the precursor of the diseases of the body. When the gums become affected they will present their inflammations throughout the rest of the body, triggering other medical problems. It it so important to keep your oral health as an important priority.
In people with gum disease (periodontal disease) which causes the gums to bleed, the bacteria builds up on the teeth making the gums more prone to infection. The immune system moves in to rid the infection and the gums become inflamed. This continues until the infection is brought under control. Without immediate treatment the same bacteria can then escape into the bloodstream and travel to other areas of the body and can cause serious health problems. Untreated periodontal disease with its bacterial plaque can lead to tooth loss, and may increase the risk of stroke, heart disease and other health issues
Many cancers are started in the mouth because of improper oral care. Nicotine in cigarettes cause the blood vessels to constrict which interferes with your gums ability to fight infection. Smoking also interferes with the any treatments or surgical procedures, and the body’s ability to heal. Mouth, tongue, and throat cancers are all caused by any tobacco use as well as alcohol use. Untreated abscesses have caused cancer and death. A friend of ours died because he did not get his abscess treated early enough and it couldn’t be brought under control, he died of cancer of the jaw.
Inflammation that starts in the mouth seems to weaken the body’s ability to control blood sugar. High blood sugar provides perfect conditions for infections to grow, including gum infections. Fortunately one can use the gum disease-diabetes relationship and managing one can help bring the other under control.
Periodontal disease may make pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease worse, possibly by increasing the amount of bacteria in the lungs. It also can worsen the pain of rheumatoid arthritis, treat the periodontal disease and the arthritis pain decreases.
Taking good care of our teeth, gums, and diet can really help you to live a longer healthier life.