The Systemic Effects of Poor Oral Hygiene
Your mouth is the gateway to your entire body. It might sound weird to say out loud, but when you think of your mouth that way you suddenly see that it is closely tied to the health of your body as a whole.
In fact, your oral hygiene has the ability to have a positive effect on your body or a negative effect. It all depends on how well you take care of your mouth. Some of the most common oral issues are linked to systemic problems like gum disease and heart disease.
Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is marked by three stages that get progressively worse. The first stage is gingivitis – inflamed and bleeding gums. This stage is reversible if caught in time. However, the final two stages are irreversible and marked by progressively worse bone and tooth decay and infection.
This disease is often the result of poor oral hygiene including not brushing or flossing regularly and eating a diet high in sugar and processed foods.
Once the disease progresses past stage one it must be managed in partnership with your dentist. Oftentimes a good deep cleaning that includes scaling and planing of roots is needed to help get your mouth back on track, but oftentimes antibiotics are also needed.
Once your mouth reaches the final stage of the disease there a high possibility of developing a systemic infection in your body because of how the periodontal infection works through bone and surrounding tissue.
Gum Disease/Heart Disease Connection
Research has now proven a clear relationship between heart disease and gum disease. The exact cause and effect aren’t known, however, we can confidently say and support that individuals with periodontal disease are at an increased risk of developing heart disease.
One theory is that the inflammation associated with periodontal disease begins to develop in the heart as well, which ultimately leads to heart disease. Another important factor to note is that the plaque found in your mouth is the plaque that also clogs arteries.
Gum Disease and Diabetes
Another systemic disease that’s related to poor oral hygiene is diabetes. Individuals with diabetes have a weakened immune system and as a result are more likely to develop diabetes. Those who do not have their diabetes under control are at the greatest risk.
One of the biggest problems with diabetics developing gum disease is that blood sugar levels tend to be elevated in people with periodontal disease. Someone who already can’t control their blood sugar can’t afford to have their blood sugar levels further elevated.
If you’re concerned about your oral health and its potential to cause systemic health issues, contact us. We would be happy to create a treatment plan that works for you and are here to support you on your path to healing.