Dental health is important, so much so that 99.7% of adults surveyed by the AACD believed that a healthy smile was socially important to have. However, a healthy smile isn’t just good for appearances, it can also be vital to your overall health. To help you understand more about the correlation between dental health and your physical wellbeing, here is what you need to know
Healthy Gums, Healthy Body
Although your teeth, tongue, and entire mouth play a role in your overall health, your gums are actually what can have the largest effect on you as a whole. Also known as gingiva, your gums can impact your health in a myriad of ways.
For starters, when gums become inflamed from gum disease, the bacteria can enter your bloodstream and make its way into the arteries that lead to the heart. When this happens, you can experience a few things. Atherosclerosis, which is a thickening of your arteries’ inner walls which can lead to decreased blood flow throughout the body, and endocarditis, which causes the inner lining of the heart to become infected and inflamed. These issues are not something that you want to increase your risk for, which makes dental care all the more important to take seriously.
Another thing that can happen as a result of gum disease is respiratory infections. These are caused by inhaling bacteria from the infected gums and teeth, which can lead to lung infections and possibly even pneumonia.
Complications with diabetes can also be possible, and even more likely, since those struggling with diabetes are at an increased risk for periodontal disease. Because gum problems like this can make blood sugar control more difficult, it can lead to worsening diabetes, which, in turn, can make it harder to effectively treat the gum problems. This problem, in particular, acts as a vicious cycle that is best prevented altogether to ensure that the problems are avoided.
If these weren’t enough, gum disease can even lead to trouble with memory, including increasing the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. This is due to the fact that the gingivitis bacteria can enter into the brain via your nerves or bloodstream, leading to inflammation and additional complications.
Regular Dental Care Is The Best Strategy
Dental care isn’t something to put on the back burner, and if ignored for too long, can lead to a lot of issues, especially if you develop problems with your gums. The best offense is a good defense in this case, and preventing these dental issues can help mitigate your risk for many conditions and it can help keep you physically healthier for longer.