Since our formative years, we’ve learned the importance of upholding oral health through daily brushing, nightly flossing, a balanced diet, and regular dental checkups. While dental issues can certainly affect the appearance of your smile, their repercussions can extend far beyond aesthetics, impacting your overall health. Join us in this exploration of five health issues that can be initiated by poor oral health practices.
#1: Cardiovascular Disease
Cardiovascular diseases, like coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, and peripheral arterial disease, are the world’s top cause of death. These conditions affect the heart and blood vessels, including issues, like congenital heart disease, rheumatic heart disease, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism.
Unhealthy behaviors like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are well-known to elevate the risk of heart disease. Yet, what’s often overlooked is the role poor oral health can play in increasing this risk.
Gum disease, a common infection resulting from poor oral hygiene, plays a crucial role in this scenario. When the bacteria responsible for gum disease enter the bloodstream, they can contribute to arterial plaque buildup, which can lead to the hardening of arteries, potentially restricting blood flow, increasing the likelihood of heart blockages, and elevating the risk of heart attacks.
#2: Dementia & Alzheimer’s Disease
An unhealthy smile doesn’t just affect the heart; it can also have detrimental effects on the brain. Gum disease has been linked to a higher risk of strokes, primarily because it can contribute to the hardening of major brain arteries as well as the potential for severe artery blockages.
Additionally, substances released from inflamed gums can damage brain cells, potentially resulting in memory loss. Those with gingivitis also face an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Thus, prioritizing oral health is crucial, not only for maintaining a healthy smile but also for safeguarding brain health.
The link between diabetes and gum disease is firmly established. People with diabetes face an increased risk of gum disease because of their diminished capacity to fend off infections. Conversely, gum disease can further complicate the management of diabetes, making it harder to regulate blood sugar levels.
#4: Pregnancy Complications
Pregnancy induces hormonal changes that can render individuals more vulnerable to infections. Consequently, expectant mothers are at an elevated risk of experiencing pregnancy gingivitis. This condition may lead to pregnancy or childbirth complications, such as premature birth or low birth weight.
Tobacco use substantially elevates the risk of oral cancer. Moreover, gum disease has been linked to several cancer types, such as pancreatic, kidney, and blood cancer. Steering clear of tobacco products and upholding proper oral hygiene is essential to diminish the chances of developing these severe health conditions.
The good news is that practicing good oral hygiene, refraining from harmful habits, and having regular dental checkups every six months can generally help prevent some of these complications, ensuring a healthy and enduring smile.
About the Practice
At Juno Beach Smiles, we take great pride in our mission, which is to deliver comprehensive dental services to our valued patients residing in Florida. Our dedicated team is committed to not only ensuring your oral health is in optimal condition but also prioritizing your overall well-being. We offer an extensive range of preventive treatments, all aimed at promoting long-term oral and general health. If you’re ready to schedule an appointment or would like to learn more about how we can support your well-being, visit the Juno Beach Smiles website or call (561) 622-7243.