Do you know why holistic approach is the best way to maintain good health? It is because every part of the human body is interrelated. A recent study shows that periodontal disease is 40% more likely connected to chronic diseases such as diabetes, osteoporosis and heart disease. Needless to say,
It is easy to understand that good oral hygiene makes your breath fresh, keeps gum diseases away and prevents early tooth loss. What most people do not realize is that a healthy mouth contributes to overall health. Healthy gums and teeth break down the food that you eat before it goes inside the body and gets processed further by different organs. What you put in your mouth nourishes the body and contributes to its state. If one has gum disease, the bacteria accumulated in the mouth will go inside the body and affect other organs by simply chewing and processing the food that you eat. This will eventually contribute to the progression of diabetes, osteoporosis or heart disease, to name a few.
So every time you brush, floss and rinse with mouthwash, think of it not only as part of making yourself look good, feel more confident or vanity but also preventing or minimizing the risks of developing chronic diseases.
Osteoporosis-Periodontal Disease Connection
Osteoporosis is common in older people. As one grows older, the body slows down in producing new bone. This results to loss of bone density and thinning of bone tissue. Both men and women may be affected by this, especially when the estrogen (for women) and testosterone (for men) levels start to drop.
Since periodontal disease can lead to bone loss too, it can be easily connected to osteoporosis. When you have loose tooth, it may be a sign of osteoporosis. If this is the case, it is not enough to treat periodontal disease. You must be checked for osteoporosis too so you can take preventive measures and get treated accordingly.
Diabetes-Periodontal Disease Connection
Currently, there are about 10 to 12 million Americans affected with diabetes. Diabetes slows down circulation and lowers the body’s resistance to infection. Because it is incurable, extreme caution and care must be done to manage the disease. The key to minimizing complications from diabetes is good management. When a diabetic’s blood sugar level is poorly managed, this can result to frequent recurrence of periodontal disease and may lead to stroke and heart disease.
Gum disease makes it easy for bacteria to accumulate in the mouth and eventually affect the rest of the body. Because a diabetic has lower resistance to infection, immediate treatment is needed for the gum disease. Maintaining good oral hygiene such as brushing and flossing plus regular visits to the dentist can help in managing diabetes and decreasing risk for infection. It is important to keep the mouth clean to avoid sugar from accumulating which can result for harmful bacteria to colonize beneath the gum line and cause periodontal disease. It is also important to stop smoking to minimize the recurrence of gum disease and help manage your diabetes better.
Periodontal Disease-Stroke and Heart Disease Connection
When plaque builds up in the walls of coronary arteries, it can restrict that flow of oxygen to the heart and constrict the flow of blood. This may cause chest pain, difficulty in breathing and even heart attack. A stroke, on the other hand, happens when the blood flowing to the brain stopped suddenly because of clot or blocked arteries. Since the mouth contains harmful bacteria when you have periodontal disease, it can easily enter the bloodstream and attach to the fatty plaque in the arteries causing blockage or blot clot due to inflammation.
Maintaining good oral hygiene can prevent or minimize the occurrence of periodontal disease and therefore help in improving heart health.
Periodontal Disease-Respiratory Disease Connection
If you have lung problem, experiencing difficulty in breathing or always catching pneumonia, you may want to have your gums checked for periodontal disease. When the body’s immune system is weak, it is easy for the bacteria caused by gum disease to irritate the lungs and aggravate lung conditions. Bacteria can easily colonize in diseased gums and when the bacteria reached the lungs, it can be affected too. See your dentist regularly to prevent respiratory problems caused by periodontal disease.
Periodontal Disease-Pregnancy Connection
Pregnancy is not a disease but it causes hormonal changes that affect oral health. When you are pregnant, you are prone to gum inflammation, gingivitis and other periodontal disease. This can cause preeclampsia, low birth weight for the baby or premature birth. It is easy for bacteria to accumulate in the diseased gum which can then be easily transported through the bloodstream and affect the baby and mother’s health. The bacteria can reach the mammary glands and coronary arteries and may cause complications as well.
Since a pregnant woman cannot just pop a pill for pain, taking medication if necessary must be monitored closely by the doctor. If you develop periodontal disease while pregnant consult with your dentist immediately to get proper care. Maintaining good oral hygiene will be very helpful in coping with the hormonal changes that you are going through so brush, floss and visit your dentist regularly.