Why Dental Check-ups Can Help Your General Health
Seven health conditions associated with your Mouth
When it comes to looking after your health, it’s a good idea to start with your oral hygiene. The health of your teeth and gums is closely linked to your general health. People with uncontrolled periodontal disease may be at a higher risk of contracting a range of serious illnesses.
That’s why it’s vital to have regular treatment from your dentist. Think of your dental health as the canary in a coalmine in that it acts as an early warning system for other illnesses.
If you have uncontrolled periodontal disease, you need to watch out for these seven associated health conditions.
Scientists have found that people with periodontal disease have a much higher risk of diabetes. If it’s not well controlled, then diabetes can be much more aggressive. So, if you have unhealthy gums, it’s going to be a lot harder for you to keep your diabetes under control. Bad breath with a sweet smell can also be a sign that you may have diabetes that’s not well controlled.
2. Heart disease
Scientists have also found that people with periodontal disease have a much higher incidence of heart and coronary artery disease. It’s clear that there’s a strong association but we’re not sure exactly what the causal link is at this stage. They think it’s to do with inflammation in your gums infecting your bloodstream, which is then transferred all around your body.
3. Premature birth
There are strong links between uncontrolled periodontal disease and premature or low-birth-weight babies. However, periodontal disease can be controlled with regular treatment from your dentist. That’s why it’s so important to keep seeing your dentist throughout your pregnancy.
4. Obstructive pulmonary disease
Elderly people with periodontal disease may also be at a higher risk of contracting obstructive pulmonary disease. There are strong links between poor oral hygiene—having a lot of plaque, for instance—and obstructive pulmonary disease. The thinking there is that as people get older, they are less able to look after their teeth.
5. Aspirational pneumonia
The same is true of aspirational pneumonia. If elderly people don’t have the assistance required to maintain good oral hygiene, they’re likely to be inhaling a lot of the nasty bugs that are in the mouth. And that leads to a much higher risk of contracting aspirational pneumonia.
6. Kidney and liver problems
Some forms of bad breath can be a sign that something’s not right elsewhere in your body. For example, an ammonia smell can be a sign of possible kidney or liver problems because your body is not filtering out certain toxins.
7. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
The signs of GERD can often show up in your mouth. Sometimes it’s a bit of bad breath but most commonly you see increased tooth wear. This is because the acids from your stomach are actually eroding away the surface of your teeth.
While some pretty serious diseases have been linked to periodontal disease and dental health, the good news is that maintaining good oral hygiene with six-monthly visits to your dentist can go a long way to helping you stay fighting fit.
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