Bad dental hygiene puts you at increased risk of several oral health problems, including tooth decay and gum disease. However, unhealthy teeth and gums have also been linked to a number of systemic illnesses. Here is a look at the issues you may prevent by taking good care of your oral health.
The link between heart disease and poor oral health is backed by several studies. According to researchers, gum disease may promote heart disease by boosting inflammation and allowing bad bacteria into the blood stream. Once in the blood vessels, oral bacteria can create blood clots that can cause stroke and heart attack.
A connection between poor cognitive function and unhealthy gums has been found in older people. In one study, scientists found that Alzheimer’s patients had oral bacteria in their brains whereas healthy individuals did not. Apparently, these bacteria can enter the brain more easily than other parts of the body.
This especially deadly form of cancer has recently been linked to severe gum disease. In men with longstanding gum disease, risk of pancreatic cancer was almost two-thirds higher than in healthy men. Researchers are still trying to figure out how this connection works.
Good oral hygiene requires a two-pronged approach combining care at home and at our office. Regular check-ups, particularly combined with preventive treatments like fluoride and sealants, can dramatically reduce risks of oral health problems and the systemic complications they can cause. Patients can schedule a consultation with our dentist to learn more about why dental hygiene is essential.
Back to Blog