Your mouth is a gateway to the rest of your body. The condition of your mouth can, believe it or not, have a strong impact on your systemic health. Bacteria of all kinds are present in your mouth. While some are harmless, others may pose a significant threat to your health. Maintaining a daily oral hygiene routine and visiting your dental office for regular appointments can help keep your mouth free of harmful bacteria. Below are 3 common ailments that have been shown to be negatively impacted by poor oral health.
Millions of Americans suffer from diabetes, and the disease can have many complications associated with it. A connection has been shown between diabetes and gum disease in many patients. Oral health problems often increase in frequency for patients with diabetes. Gingivitis and periodontitis are more common because these patients are at a higher risk of bacterial infection; they have a decreased immune response and longer healing time.
Blood glucose levels can also be affected by gum disease, potentially putting a patient with diabetes at a higher risk for additional health problems. The bacteria found in the mouth associated with gum disease have been shown to significantly elevate blood glucose levels.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease that affects 1.5 million people in the US alone. This chronic inflammatory disorder affects joints and is caused by the body’s immune system attacking its own tissues. Patients with RA are more likely to suffer from gum disease and periodontitis. Likewise, patients with periodontal issues have been shown to have nearly twice the risk of developing RA according to a study conducted by the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.
Any type of autoimmune disease can significantly impact your oral health. A hyperactive or decreased immune response will cause inflammation in the gum tissue, eventually leading to periodontal disease.
Once bacteria enter your bloodstream through your mouth, they can travel throughout your body and affect other locations. Conditions like bronchitis and pneumonia can be caused by harmful bacteria settling into a patient’s lungs. Other existing issues such as emphysema and chronic pulmonary disease can be exacerbated by the invading bacteria.
If you suffer from any of these conditions or are concerned that poor oral health might be putting you at risk, please contact our oral surgery office in Lakewood, NY today. Our dedicated team will be happy to provide you with prevention tips based on your current health.