If you think that forgetting to brush and floss every day negatively affects your breath alone, think again! Good oral hygiene benefits the entire body. Conversely, when teeth become victims of neglect, systemic health declines along with it. Listed are the most common health complications related to/stemming from poor oral hygiene:
Stroke: Disease-causing bacteria in the mouth (when left untreated) lead to clogging in the Cartoid Artery. This clogging dramatically increases your chance for a stroke.
Have you ever seen the red, puffy gums associated with gingivitis or other periodontal disease? Gingivitis itself means “inflammation of the gums” as the suffix “-itis” indicates inflammation of any type (bronchitis, gastritis, etc.) and “gingiva” literally means gums. Inflamed gums cause blood to pump constantly into the mouth, putting excess stress on the heart. Has it ever occurred to you that the same plaque that collects on your teeth is related to the plaque that also builds up in your arteries? Excess plaque on your teeth enters the bloodstream through the gums and collects as plaque buildup in your arteries.
Heart Disease: Gingivitis will double your chances for developing heart disease and/or arterial narrowing. This is also caused by periodontal bacteria and plaque entering your bloodstream through the gums. One famous study on the subject endorsed by the ADA found that doctors can use periodontal dise
ase, cavities & missing teeth to predict heart disease just as accurately as they can use a person’s cholesterol levels.
Respiratory Problems: The same plaque-building bacteria caused by periodontal disease can also travel through a person’s bloodstream to the lungs. This can aggravate the respiratory system, especially if a pre-existing condition is already present. At that point, the best dentist in Utah couldn’t reverse the adverse effects of poor habits with just a simple cleaning.
Erectile Dysfunction: One of the most profound examples of the health risks associated with periodontal disease is found in men. When periodontal bacteria travelling through the bloodstream enflames blood vessels, this can block blood-flow to the genitals. Men with gingivitis disease are up to SEVEN TIMES MORE LIKELY to experience erectile dysfunction than men without it.
These complications and others are serious and almost 100% preventable if you take care of your teeth by brushing, flossing, and scheduling a regular annual cleaning with your dentist. If you are concerned about the risks associated with poor oral hygiene, or just want to schedule a routine cleaning, please contact any Platinum Dental Office to schedule your appointment today.
The author lives in Layton, Utah.