Did you know that dental hygiene and health issues are closely linked?
Poor dental hygiene poses health risks, increasing your chances of some serious diseases.
We’re going to take a look at the relationship between your dental health and wellbeing in our latest article.
The link explained
Gum disease is related to several serious conditions — let’s find out what these are.
There’s a link between dental health and heart disease — research has found that people with gum disease are twice as likely to have coronary artery disease than people who don’t have it.
It’s understood that when you get gum disease, bacteria in the mouth enter your bloodstream. These bacteria generate proteins, which clump the platelets in your blood in your heart’s blood vessels. In turn, blood clots can form. These clots affect blood flow, so your heart may not receive all the nutrients it needs, which can ultimately lead to a heart attack.
There’s also a connection between your dental health and strokes — people who have experienced a stroke have an increased risk of gum disease.
The same goes for people living with diabetes. They are more likely to get all kinds of infections, including infections affecting the mouth and gums. That’s why it’s so important to monitor your dental health if you have diabetes.
And it’s imperative to get treatment for gum disease if you have diabetes, as it can increase your blood sugar and cause complications.
This relationship works both ways, so you are more likely to get diabetes if you have gum disease and vice versa.
If you’re pregnant, hormonal changes can mean your gums are more susceptible to plaque, which can lead to gum disease.
And pregnant women who have gum disease are more likely to have a premature baby with a low birth weight. It’s believed that this is because gum disease increases the levels of the chemicals that can start labour.
Because people with gum disease have an increased level of bacteria in their mouths, they are more at risk of bacterial chest infections.
This is because the bacteria are breathed in, causing infections like pneumonia.
How can I prevent gum disease and keep healthy?
There are lots of things you can do to help prevent gum disease:
- Establish a good dental hygiene routine. This includes brushing for 2 minutes twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and using mouthwash and floss.
- Know the signs of gum disease. These include red, swollen or bleeding gums, a nasty taste in your mouth, loose teeth, bad breath and mouth infections. Seek help from your dentist if you notice any of these symptoms.
- Give up smoking, which can make gum disease worse.
- Exercise regularly — you’ll be less likely to get mouth infections which can lead to gum disease.
- See your dentist regularly for a check-up and keep them up to date about any changes to your health, such as pregnancy or diabetes.
Keep gum disease at bay
A few simple steps can help you to keep gum disease at bay and help you live a healthier life.
If you’re due a check-up or are worried about gum disease symptoms, make an appointment to see us at Opal Dental.
We’re the local, friendly dentist for Te Atatu and surrounding areas, with a wide range of dental treatments available.
Call us to make that appointment — it’s another step to healthier teeth and gums and a healthier you!