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When most of us brush and floss our teeth we think about the cavities we’re preventing…but what if we’re preventing more?
Believe it or not, having poor oral hygiene can lead to a lot more than fillings.
Here are 6 ways your oral health can impact your overall health:
Periodontal disease can cause heart complications. The bacteria from inflamed gums and plaque build-up can travel to the heart through the bloodstream and cause serious problems like atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis causes arteries to harden and plaque to build up, making it difficult for blood to reach all the different parts of the body. This leaves you at a higher risk of a heart attack or stroke. If you notice your gums are bleeding and swollen, ask your dentist what steps you can take to help prevent periodontal disease.
2. Premature Birth
Studies show that women who have periodontal disease have a higher chance of delivering their babies prematurely and that their babies have a higher chance of having a low birth weight.
3. Dementia and Alzheimer’s
Recent studies say that there is a link between poor oral health and dementia. The study by the University of Central Lancashire School of Medicine and Dentistry found that out of the 10 people studied with dementia, four of them had a bacteria in their brain that comes from gingivitis.
4. Bacterial Pneumonia
Bacteria from poor gum health can build up and travel into the lungs as you breathe causing bacterial pneumonia. Signs of bacterial pneumonia are coughing, chest pain, shortness of breath, fever, chills, and mucus.
Periodontal disease can make it harder to control blood sugar levels for those with diabetes. Diabetes makes it harder for the body to fight off infections so it’s common to see more severe cases of periodontal disease in patients with diabetes. On the bright side, those who improve their gum health also see improvements in their ability to control their blood sugar!
6. Pancreatic Cancer
The Harvard School of Public Health released a study in 2007 showing a linkage between periodontal disease and pancreatic cancer. Although they can only prove a connection they did find that “men with a history of gum disease had a 64% increased risk of pancreatic cancer compared with men who had never had gum disease.” Better to be safe than sorry and keep your oral health a top priority.
Brushing at least twice a day, flossing and regular dental visits can save you a lot more than a bit of painful drilling! Our oral health has a significant impact on the rest of our body so why not start taking care of it now? Book an appointment with PreDentive today and see how we can help you prevent dental problems from getting out of hand.
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