Understanding the Connection Between the Mouth and Your Overall Health
Posted on 11/25/2018 by Dr. Chapko
The mouth serves as the gateway to your body, so it should come as no surprise that your oral health can affect your overall health. This is mostly attributed to the bacteria that build up on the teeth, causing gum infections.
The immune system attacks the infection, causing gum inflammation and a release of chemicals that can affect the rest of the body. Unfortunately, this process has been connected to some major health conditions.
Oral health has been connected to the heart in some important ways. Endocarditis is one of the most common, and this condition is an infection of the heart's inner lining. This condition typically results from bacteria entering the body via the mouth, and it can then spread through the bloodstream before attaching to the heart. Other research has found that heart disease, stroke, and clogged arteries are all linked to infections and inflammation caused by oral bacteria.
Gum disease is believed to be more frequent among people with diabetes, and symptoms are also more severe. Diabetes reduces the body's infection resistance, which automatically puts the gum at a heightened risk for a problem. Dental research has found that people with gum disease find it more difficult to control their glucose levels.
Another overall health condition with connections to the mouth is osteoporosis. This condition involves brittle and weak bones, and in some cases, it could be linked to tooth and oral bone loss. Likewise, certain drugs used to treat osteoporosis may result in bone damage.
One of the best ways to protect your teeth and overall health from damage is with regular dental visits. Whether it is time for your next regular appointment or you haven't seen a dentist in a while, we are here to help. Call us today to set up your next appointment.
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