During this period of Covid19 we are all facing, we are all trying to keep our immune system strong by having a healthy diet, exercising regularly and sleeping well. Equally important to this is our oral hygiene. A Healthy mouth and good oral health are important even more now than ever before!
Oral health is about so much more than just the health of the mouth, teeth, and gums. There is a connection between oral hygiene and health in the rest of your body. Here are some serious health problems that can be caused by bad oral health:
Cardiovascular Disease / Heart Disease
Did you know that poor oral health can put you at risk for a heart disease?
Excessive bacteria developed in the mouth can easily get into the blood stream through gum tissue or abrasions in the mouth from poorly cleaned teeth, gum or even poorly fitted dentures. The more bacteria that get into the blood stream, the more likely it will travel to the heart causing the arteries to build up plaque and harden. This hardening of the arteries is called atherosclerosis. It leads to blood flow problems and heart blockages and it increases the likelihood of having a heart attack. The damaging impact on the arteries and blood vessels can lead to hypertension and increase the risk for strokes. Endocarditis can also develop, which often is a fatal condition that occurs when the lining of the heart becomes infected. Good oral health care can be a shield from heart attacks, strokes and other heart disease conditions.
Pneumonia/ Respiratory Infections
Elderly worry more about pneumonia, since they often have reduced lung capacity due to aging. The respiratory system can be in danger because of poor oral health. Bacteria in the mouth from infected teeth and gums can be breathed into the lungs or through the bloodstream. Having the bacteria in there can lead to respiratory infections, acute bronchitis, pneumonia and more. Taking care of oral hygiene is very important for older people in nursing homes and care-giving services, where many residents are not able to take care of their oral health and exclusively rely on staff.
For diabetics, good oral care and regular dental check-ups is a paramount. Diabetics are more likely to get periodontal disease, due to a reduction in blood circulation. Periodontal disease can in turn make diabetes more difficult to control. A combination of diabetes and periodontal disease may lead to a prolonged period of uncontrolled blood sugar levels, which might cause more serious complications.
Bacteria from diseased gums can get into the brain through either the bloodstream or the nerve channels in the head. Bacteria into brain can destroy brain cells and later the thought patterns. Those changes in brain chemistry can lead to dementia or Alzheimer.
Excessive bacteria build up in the mouth can easily get into the bloodstream and cause inflammation to blood vessels. That results in blocking the flow of blood to genitals, making erection difficult or impossible to happen.
Good oral health for expectant mothers should be an essential. Pregnant women develop oral infections much more easily due to hormonal changes. However, any infection in mother’s body increases the risk of pregnancy complications. Poor oral health in mothers can lead to premature birth and low birth weight in infants.
It is important to practice good oral hygiene and to see a dentist regularly in order to avoid serious risk to your overall health.