10 Common Health Risks Caused By Poor Dental Hygiene
Oral health is more than just the health of your mouth, teeth, and gums. Our mouth serves as a primary entry point to our body. This means poor dental hygiene habits can have serious consequences that could affect our entire body. As a result, you may have to search for “emergency dentist near me” on Google for immediate medical attention.
Breath that smells bad, teeth that hurt, and gums that bleed are all signs that you have poor dental health. When bacteria that reside in the mouth get into your blood, it causes infection and inflammation. This is the last thing you would want, thereby indicating the need for practising good oral hygiene. This also includes seeing your dentist regularly to maintain your overall health.
This blog will list some common yet serious consequences caused by poor oral health.
Having poor oral health means you put yourself at risk of cardiovascular disease. When your gums get inflamed due to plaque, it causes periodontal disease. When the same bacteria get into the bloodstream, it causes the arteries to accumulate plaque and become hardened.
This condition is what we call atherosclerosis, which happens to be a serious illness. In this condition, patients have blood flow issues and blockages in the heart. The condition increases the odds of having a stroke or heart attack.
In serious cases, endocarditis may develop, too. This is considered fatal because the entire lining wall of the heart gets infected.
However, if you take routine dental care seriously, it can help you prevent such gum disease.
It may surprise you but poor oral health tends to affect our brains. Inflamed gums release substances that kill brain cells, leading to memory loss. Alzheimer’s disease and dementia can result from gingivitis (gum disease).
Poor oral health can also affect your respiratory system. infected teeth and swollen gums produce bacteria, which then get into the lungs and the bloodstream causing serious respiratory issues such as pneumonia, COPD or acute bronchitis.
Periodontal disease can make diabetes more challenging to control. Your symptoms may worsen as blood sugar levels go uncontrolled due to gum disease. This is why those who are diabetics should take good care of their teeth.
Since gum disease leads to higher blood sugar levels, those who have poor dental health are at increased risk of getting diabetes.
Complications During Pregnancy
Expectant mothers must take up good oral hygiene habits. Hormonal changes during pregnancy cause the mother to acquire oral infections more easily. Any infection including teeth and gum in the mother’s body tends to increase her risk of pregnancy issues.
Gingivitis and periodontitis are believed to lead to low birth weight in infants and premature birth. So, if a mother has gum disease, this can put both the mother and the baby at risk of these pregnancy complications.
Experts believe that poor oral health leads to problems with infertility in females. Those who have gum disease are more at risk of various health issues, making it harder to conceive and maintain a healthy pregnancy.
For a woman with gum disease, it can take longer to get pregnant than for someone with food oral health.
Erectile dysfunction is common in males with poor oral hygiene. In Chronic periodontal disease, a patient develops an infection, which occurs when gums get pulled away from teeth, creating pockets that harbour bacteria. This enables the bacteria to spread to the surrounding bone teeth.
When these bacteria get into the bloodstream, it causes the blood vessels to get inflamed and hardened. When the blood vessels are inflamed, they can block blood flow to the genitals. This is a condition when erections become more difficult or impossible to achieve.
Those who perform bad oral health practices like smoking, or using tobacco are more likely to have oral and throat cancers. Gum disease and certain types of cancer are linked. The risk for pancreatic cancer, kidney cancer, and blood cancer becomes higher for those with bad oral health.
In chronic kidney disease, patients develop a condition when they face difficulty in the heart, kidneys, bones, and body’s blood pressure. When there is an infection (such as periodontal disease) in such patients’ bodies, it can lead to kidney disease.
Those with periodontal disease usually have poor immune systems. This means patients with gum disease are more likely to get any sort of infections. Those who suffer from bad oral health could also get kidney disease very early in their age. While kidney disease may not seem to be serious, it can be fatal when the patient develops cardiovascular disease or kidney failure.
Studies suggest that patients with gum disease are four times more likely to develop RA or Rheumatoid Arthritis. RA and gum disease both have inflammation in common. In gingivitis, the oral bacteria increase the risk of the inflammation that spreads throughout the body. Eventually, this causes the patient to develop rheumatoid arthritis.
Is There Any Prevention?
Now you have a fair idea of how gum disease can lead to several health complications. If not treated timely, it could be more difficult for you to prevent these serious health issues. This is why you will want to practice good oral hygiene. The best way to prevent complicated diseases is to see your dentist on a regular basis.
Let us look at what practising good oral hygiene looks like:
- Brushing the teeth and gums thoroughly for at least two minutes two times a day
- Daily flossing
- Avoiding smoking or chewing tobacco
- Using toothpaste and mouthwash containing fluoride
- Limiting sugary foods, starch and drinks
- Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet to ensure optimum nutrition
- Taking supplements to boost oral health
If you have healthy teeth, this means you are free from the pain caused due to cavities and gum disease. If you take proper care of your gums and teeth, they will not bleed when you brush them or floss. Good oral health means you have good overall health. It can go a long way when you take good care of gum issues like gingivitis and periodontal disease. By doing so, you ensure decreased risk of more serious health consequences.