If they say the eyes are the window to your soul, your dental health is also the mirror to your overall health. Our Science class taught us that our body comprises organs and systems interconnected and affect each other. Just like how a certain brain issue affects your speech and motor skills, your dental health also affects your overall health.
Your mouth is host to millions of bacteria. While most of it is harmless, some bacteria can harm you in so many ways. An unhealthy lifestyle and poor oral hygiene will fuel these harmful bacteria to multiply and cause more havoc with your health. Poor oral and dental care will not just dampen your smile, but it will also cause some severe health problems.
Here are some of the ways that dental health affects you:
- Heart ailment
The bacteria in your mouth releases acid to help break down the sugars and carbohydrates from the foods that you eat. With poor oral hygiene, these acids and carbohydrates will mix, resulting in plaque buildup. Unfortunately, the plaque can also reach your heart through the bloodstream and may block your arteries. When this happens, you will be at higher risk of heart disease and stroke.
The bacteria from your mouth can enter your bloodstream, which may cause infection and inflamed the blood vessels. If the inflammation is not treated right away, it can lead to atherosclerosis which is the trademark of a heart ailment. Apart from that, when the bacteria reaches the heart, it can again cause infection to the organ’s linings and cause endocarditis.
If you have type I or type II diabetes, you may have already heard your doctor telling you to pay extra attention to your dental health as you are more prone to developing tooth cavities and gum disease. Your health condition affects your ability to control your blood sugar level and your immune system. Your body won’t be able to fight off infection as much as healthier individuals do. This makes the bacteria in your mouth a lot harder to control.
- Kidney problems
Individuals with chronic kidney problems are also get affected by poor dental health. According to experts, individuals with chronic kidney disease and advanced gum disease will have about 41% risks of death within ten years.
- Pregnancy complications
Poor dental health can also affect pregnant women and the unborn child. The hormonal changes that women go through during pregnancy puts her at risk for periodontal disease and pregnancy gingivitis. Worse is, an article published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) states that periodontitis in pregnant women puts the unborn baby at risk of preterm birth.
Aside from the heart, the bacteria that entered your bloodstream can also move upwards and reach your brain. This can trigger the progression of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease in older adults.