For most of us, dental care is important because we want white teeth and a pretty smile, but there is more to oral health than meets the eye. Medical research consistently shows a link between your oral health and your overall health in many areas. Your mouth is a very important part of your body, after all. Here, we’ll share four reasons for you to prioritize your oral health:
Unhealthy gums are linked to an unhealthy heart.
You eat well and exercise for your heart, but you’ve got to take care of your gums for your heart too. According to WebMD, studies link gum disease to an increased risk of heart disease because it increases inflammation throughout the entire body, and inflammation is a major risk factor for heart disease. Studies also show that the bacteria that cause gum disease, like Streptococcus sanguis which also contributes to strokes, enter the bloodstream and spread to the heart.
According to researchers, those with periodontal disease are not only at greater risk of heart disease, but they are also twice as likely to have a fatal heart attack than people without gum disease.
Poor oral health can impact fertility and pregnancy.
Pregnant women with poor oral health may be at higher risk of delivering pre-term and low birth weight babies. Women with gum disease also take an average of two months longer to conceive than women with a healthy mouth, according to research published in Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Gum disease can worsen diabetes.
We know that people with diabetes are more prone to gum disease, but surprising new studies also found that serious gum disease may actually affect blood sugar control. Because periodontal disease is an ongoing infection, bacteria produce toxins that affect the carbohydrate metabolism in individual cells. It is also thought that the cell response to periodontal bacteria can increase insulin resistance and blood glucose levels. More than 29 million Americans have diabetes, and good oral health can help improve the management of this disease.
Oral cancer kills.
Oral cancer kills about one person every hour in America, and the survival rate is low – only about 57% survive for five years. Why? Because oral cancer often goes undetected until it spreads. But as part of a regular dental check-up, dentists check all soft tissues as a cancer screening, by inspecting the gums, tongue, lips and cheeks for any suspicious or unusual changes. A precancerous lesion can begin as a small white or dark red patch that you may not be able to see and likely won’t cause any symptoms. Detecting early signs of the disease is crucial to recovery and survival.
Oral health is an important part of general wellness – contact us to prevent and treat gum disease and discuss what steps you can take to keep your mouth as healthy as possible.
Plattsburgh NY 12901