Oral health linked to systemic diseases
Did you know that oral health can offer clues about your overall health? According to health experts, oral healthcare is much more than just maintaining that beautiful smile, as many serious diseases are associated with poor oral hygiene.
Your mouth is home to millions of bacteria, most are harmless. Normally the body’s natural defenses and good oralhealth care can keep these bacteria under control. However when these bacteria get out of control, they cause tooth decay and gum disease/periodontal disease.
The signs and symptoms of many potentially life-threatening diseases appear in the mouth first. Dentists routinely screen for these signs and symptoms during regular oral health examinations and explain their observations to patients, urging them to follow up with a medical visit for a definitive diagnosis. When necessary, dentists also provide therapy for the oral manifestations of systemic diseases.
Systemic diseases associated with gum disease:
*From strokes, heart disease to Alzheimer’s disease, your gums reveal a lot about your overall health. Even cancer, substance abuse and sexually transmitted disease can show up through bad oral conditions
*Clogged arteries and strokes have also been linked to gum diseases. In fact, one of the first symptoms of AIDS could be a severe gum disease or a fungal infection of the mouth.
*Diabetes, a serious and common chronic disease affects 23.6 million children and adults in U.S. and contributes to more that 200,000 deaths per year. Approximately 95% of Americans who have diabetes, also have gum disease, and have more problems in controlling their blood sugar level. It is critical that patients with diabetes have routine dental exams and cleanings by their dentist.
*Pregnant women who have poor oral hygiene run the risk of premature delivery. Poor oral hygiene of the mother is linked to premature delivery, making it very important for would- be moms to ensure a good oral healthcare.
*Pain in the upper teeth, pale- colored tongue, and the condition of the lymph node can be indicative of cancer,tuberculosis, migraine and sinusitis, Dr Ahuja said.
*Even the first stage of bone loss may actually show up in your teeth, with dentists linking osteoporosis to oral health care.
*Poor oral healthcare is also indicative of a weak immune system, anemia, gastrointestinal problems and even vitamin B12 deficiency.
Medical experts say healthy gums prevent bacteria in the mouth from entering into the blood stream. Bleeding gums, on the other hand, allow bacteria to enter into the blood circulation thereby causing various health complications.
Approximately 80% of Americans have some sort of gum disease and majority of them do not realize that. The best way to prevent all this is by making sure you visit your dentist every 6 months for dental examination and professional cleaning.
Learn more about gum disease. Or call our office at 323-771-7254.
By Ladan Zinati