Oral Health and Overall Health Conditions
Did you know oral health and overall health are closely intertwined? Bacteria that infect the mouth and the gums can also affect other systems throughout the body, and can even have a negative impact on otherwise healthy prenatal care.
Failing to take care of your teeth and gums can lead to a number of serious health problems, including some life-threatening conditions.
In 2007 alone, heart disease killed over 600,000 Americans. It’s the leading cause of death in the United States. Failing to brush and floss regularly can lead to bleeding gums. When gums bleed, more than 700 types of bacteria and fatty plaque have direct access to the bloodstream.
Bacteria can cause all kinds of infectious diseases and complications, while plaque latches on to platelets in the blood. Plaque encourages the clotting and blockages that raise your risk of heart disease and even sudden heart attack.
Also known as cerebrovascular disease, strokes are the third leading cause of death in the United States. In 2007, nearly 136,000 people died from complications relating to stroke. Strokes are caused by interruption in blood flow to the brain. The same fatty plaque that causes heart disease can be responsible for life-threatening strokes.
Chronic lower respiratory disease is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. These life-threatening conditions usually begin as basic respiratory infections.
Individuals who don’t care for their teeth and gums are five times as likely to contract respiratory diseases. Respiratory diseases usually occur when bacteria are breathed directly into the lungs, and this is far more likely to happen when inhaled air passes through an oral environment that encourages bacterial growth. Respiratory infections can also develop in the blood, in which case bleeding gums can allow direct access to the bloodstream for dangerous bacteria.
Diabetes is the seventh-highest cause of death for Americans. Oral infections can cause blood sugar levels to rise, encouraging insulin imbalances. Sadly, diabetes can also increase the instance of oral problems such as tooth loss, gum disease, and dry mouth, creating a feedback loop that can make diabetes difficult to control. Oral health is important in diabetes prevention but can be absolutely instrumental in successfully managing diabetes.
Osteoporosis is a weakening of the bones caused by long-term calcium deficiency, among other factors. People with advanced gum disease tend to have calcium deficiencies, which can eventually lead to osteoporosis.
Severe forms of gum disease can contribute to anemia, a condition that occurs when the body is deprived of the healthy red blood cells needed to carry oxygen to cells throughout the body. Periodontitis sufferers tend to have reduced blood cell counts and even reductions in hemoglobin.
If you’d like to build a powerful daily dental regimen to help you keep your teeth and body in prime condition, PerioSciences can help you protect yourself. Our AO ProVantage products and AO ProRinse are products designed to help keep your dental hygiene at its best with daily use. To learn more about antioxidants and dental care, fill out the form on our blog. To connect with PerioSciences, check us out on Facebook or Twitter.