6 Medical Problems Caused By Poor Oral Hygiene

poor oral hygieneWe have been taught that we should take good care of our teeth and our gums. If everything is good inside our mouth or what we put in our mouth, we can assure ourselves that all will be fine inside the rest of our body. Poor oral hygiene can lead to many medical problems. Maybe that’s why our mouth is known as the ‘gateway to the body’.

Practicing simple steps like brushing and flossing can save your teeth and help you maintain a good oral hygiene. A balanced diet without sticky and sugary foods and routine dental visits are also few good habits that one should adopt as a part of a healthy lifestyle.

Should we do all these things just for clean teeth and fresh breath? Or is there anything more that we want to gain? Is there anything that we want to prevent from happening? Yes, we are prone to a few medical problems if we fail to maintain a good oral hygiene. Six of them are listed below-

  1. Heart disease– Those who have gum disease, also known as periodontitis, are more prone to a cardiac stroke or to develop a heart disorder. Through our gums the harmful oral bacteria can enter the bloodstream and cause the narrowing of our blood vessels over time. This results in heart disorder.
  2.  Dementia– If you lose your teeth due to dental decay you are at an increased risk of developing dementia (memory loss). A study has revealed that gum infection causes the release of certain inflammatory cells that might lead to inflammation of brain cells and then death of those cells eventually.
  3. Respiratory problems– Oral bacteria may cross the blood barrier by entering the lungs and cause respiratory problems like acute bronchitis or pneumonia. Those who are already suffering from respiratory problems are found to have aggravated episodes due to oral infection.
  4. Diabetes– A diabetic is highly susceptible to severe gum infection and tooth loss if they do not take care of their oral hygiene. This is because a diabetic has a compromised immunity and they can pick up infection from anywhere because their immunity cells do not function properly.
  5. Erectile problem– It has been reported that those men who had periodontal disease were 7 times more likely to have erectile dysfunction than those men who kept their oral health in a good status. This is because oral bacteria percolates into the blood infected gums and travels down to the genital area.
  6. Cancer– Those who are suffering from gum disease are at a high risk of developing cancer of kidneys, pancreas and blood.

Hence, it is essential for us to practice oral hygiene methods to save ourselves from such devastating side effects.

Health Conditions Your Dentist Can Spot

health conditions your dentist can spotYou know that your dentist can find cavities and other issues related to your mouth, but did you know that they may be able to spot other diseases related to the rest of your body? We’ve been told that our oral health is related to our overall health.  Here are some of the health conditions your dentist can spot.

Diabetes – When a patient has periodontitis, or inflammation around the gums, your dentist may refer you for a diabetes evaluation.  Dentists worry when someone who has an otherwise clean healthy mouth still has a periodontal problem.  Another common sign dentists look for is bad breath.

Heart disease – People with periodontal disease are more likely to develop heart disease.  If periodontal disease is treated, heart disease is greatly improved.

Dementia – A British study found that lack of teeth is associated with mental decline.  It found that adults with poor dental hygiene were 76 percent more likely to develop dementia.

Osteoporosis – Your dentist may be able to spot bone loss in the surrounding structures of your teeth, like the jaw. Healthy bone should be dense both at the edges and the interior, and when it’s not, the patient is more likely to have osteoporosis.

Acid reflux disease – If you have acid reflux disease, the constant uprising of stomach acid wears away at your tooth enamel. Dentists look for this erosion especially at the front lower teeth.

Heart Disease, Brittle Bone, and Other Scary Diseases Your Dentist Can Spot|Yahoo Health

Important Information On The Relation Between Diabetes And Gum Disease

diabetes and gum diseaseThe following are answers to some of the questions people with diabetes ask concerning diabetes and gum disease:

1. Does any link exist between gum infection and diabetes?

For the close to 21 million Americans with diabetes, many of them may be stunned to learn about an unanticipated complication related to this condition. A study has revealed that the prevalence of gum disease among people with diabetes has increased. This has added gum disease to the list of various complications related to diabetes, including heart ailments, stroke and kidney disease.

2. Does gum disease somehow affect diabetes and vice versa?

Emerging studies show that the link between severe gum disease and diabetes is collaborative. In addition to susceptibility to developing gum disease, diabetic people with severe gum disorder, also referred to as periodontitis, can have their blood glucose management affected. Consequently, this can contribute to the progression of diabetes.

Research also suggests that people with diabetes are at a higher risk for oral health complications including gingivitis (a primary stage of gum disease) and periodontitis (severe gum disease). Such people are at a greater risk for severe gum disease since they are generally more prone to bacterial infection and have a lower ability to fight bacteria that invade the gums.

Good oral health is vital to general health. This is in accordance with the Surgeon General’s Report on Oral health. You should ensure that you brush and floss appropriately and visit your dentist for dental check-ups on regular basis.

3. Is a person with diabetes in danger of dental complications?

In case a person’s glucose levels are not well controlled, the probability of developing severe gum disease and losing more teeth than non-diabetics is higher. Just like all disorders, severe gum disease may be a factor triggering high blood sugar levels and is likely to make diabetes more difficult to manage.

Thrush, an infection normally caused by fungus growing in the mouth, and dry mouth, which is capable of causing discomfort, ulcers, infections as well as cavities are the additional oral problems linked to diabetes.

4. How can one help avert dental problems related to diabetes?

The first priority is to manage blood sugar level. Secondly, good care should be taken for teeth and gums and a check-up should be done every six months. To keep thrush (a fungal infection) under control, a good diabetic management should be maintained.  Smoking should be shunned and a person should remove and clean dentures every day if he wears them. Proper blood glucose control can also be helpful in prevention or relief of dry mouth caused by diabetes.

5. What should a diabetic person expect at the check-up? Should a disclosure be made to the dental specialist about an individual’s diabetes?

People with diabetes have special needs. Dentists and hygienists are well equipped to meet those needs with the help of the person. The dentist and hygienist should be kept informed of any variations in a person’s condition, plus any medicine they might be taking. Any non-emergency dental procedures should be postponed if blood sugar levels are not under proper control.

How Oral Hygiene Affects The Rest Of Your Body

oral hygieneWe all know by now that our oral hygiene affects the rest of our bodies. In an article by Rachael Rettner from livescience.com, she writes more about this.

Oral hygiene is related to diabetes. Diabetes changes the blood vessels which can weaken the gums and make them more vulnerable to infection. Dentists can play a role in diagnosing diabetes because of this.

Heart disease is linked with periodontal disease as well. A previous study found that people with periodontal disease had a 19 percent increased risk for developing heart disease.

Some other things that oral health are linked to are pregnancy and risk of preterm birth, knee arthritis, respiratory illness and more.  Read the full article here: How Oral Hygiene Affects the Rest of You.

Saliva Test Helps Reveal Disease Early

saliva test

Simple saliva test can find diseases early.

An interesting study from UCLA discusses how a simple saliva test may be capable of diagnosing diabetes, cancer and perhaps neurological disorders and autoimmune diseases at an early stage.

The study uncovers that saliva contains much of the same molecules that reveal disease as is contained in blood.  Unusual RNA molecules (known as cellular messengers that carry DNA instructions to other parts of the cell) have been found in the mouth and in cells.

The study is quite complex but very intresting.  To read the full article from Medical News Today and learn more about this study, click here: Simple saliva test may reveal deadly diseases early enough to treat them – Medical News Today.