Oral Health Connected to Overall Health

Your teeth and gums, it seems, may speak volumes about your well-being.  There are some disease that are associated with an increased risk of infections.

Diabetes

Bleeding gums, dry mouth, fungal infections, cavities — these oral signs might clue your dentist into a serious health issue: diabetes. With sugar to feed on, bacteria find a happy home in which to grow and thrive.

Heart Disease

The jury is still out, but according to research from the American Heart Association, poor oral health could increase your chances of developing heart disease. The exact way that periodontal infections are linked to heart disease are not known.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis, a disease that causes the bones to become less dense over time as the body loses calcium, could be at the root of tooth loss. Though more research is needed to establish a link, osteoporosis and gum disease could turn out to pack a one-two punch.

The Female Factor

About half of all Americans, no matter how healthy they are, are more likely to develop oral health problems: Women. When hormone levels are very high, women can be more sensitive to a small amount of plaque or bacteria. While a cause and effect relationship is still being studied, maternal periodontal disease has been linked with preterm delivery and low birth weight infants in small studies.

Smoking

A smile-killing 41% of daily smokers over age 65 are toothless. Smoking can also raise your chances of calculus — plaque that hardens on the teeth and can only be removed during a professional cleaning; deep pockets between the teeth and gums; loss of the bone and tissue that support your teeth; mouth sores; and oral cancer.

 

Source: Web MD

Image: Cumbavac

Poor Oral Hygiene Can Lead to Pneumonia

The Dental Health Foundation has warned that poor oral hygiene could cause the respiratory infection after research found a link between bacteria in the mouth and the lung disease.

Dr Samit Joshi of Yale University School of Medicine found changes in bacteria in the mouth preceded the development of pneumonia. He concluded that this process “suggests that changes in oral bacteria play a role in the risk for developing pneumonia”.

Poor oral health has been associated with respiratory diseases for a number of years, as bacterial chest infections are thought to be caused by breathing in fine droplets from the throat and mouth into the lungs. This can cause infections, such as pneumonia, or could worsen an existing condition. Studies have even suggested a higher mortality rate from pneumonia in people with higher numbers of gum problems.

The findings of the study present further evidence that there’s a significant health risk to the elderly and the young, according to Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter.

Simply brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste, cleaning in between teeth daily with interdental brushes or floss, cutting down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks and visiting the dentist regularly, as often as they recommend will be a great starting point.

 

Source: The Telegraph

Image: Health Spa Blog