Are dental issues increasing your risk for heart attack, cancer, dementia, and other life-altering health conditions?

There are more than 700 species of bacteria known to live in the human mouth. Researchers are still discovering what those bacteria can do to support or harm the gums and teeth, and they’ve uncovered connections to the rest of the body in the process. If you have swollen, inflamed gums that bleed, bad breath or other signs of poor oral health, there’s a good chance that your dental problems could contribute to other health conditions.

1. Respiratory Infection

When inspecting infected lung tissue, medical researchers have found microorganisms known to live in periodontal pockets. Researchers now believe that oral bacteria can contribute to pneumonia. It’s also possible for dental plaque and harmful microorganisms from the mouth to infect the airways, leading to serious respiratory infections.

2. Cardiovascular Disease

Multiple scientific studies have shown a correlation between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease. If you have missing teeth or inflamed, bleeding gums and bad breath, bacteria from your mouth could inflame and damage blood vessels. That can lead to heart attack or stroke.

3. Diabetes

Research has shown that diabetics are more likely to also develop periodontitis and other dental problems. It’s likely that the lack of metabolic control associated with diabetes increases the risk of bacterial accumulation in the gums.

4. Dementia

Many dementia patients exhibit signs of poor dental health, including periodontitis, bleeding gums and plaque accumulation. Research has shown that periodontitis can cause inflammation in the brain that may lead to cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s Disease.

5. Infertility

Research into the connection between periodontitis and infertility is still developing, but it’s clear that poor dental hygiene allows bacteria to spread from the mouth to other areas of the body. That bacteria may impact a woman’s ability to naturally conceive a child. It may also interfere with IVF treatments.

6. Pregnancy Complications

When you’re pregnant, your oral hygiene becomes even more important. Research has shown that women with periodontal disease are more likely to deliver underweight or premature babies. Hormone fluctuations associated with pregnancy may also contribute to worsening of dental problems.

7. Cancer

Every human has some amount of cancer cells. The question is whether your cells will start to grow and take over nearby cells to the point that it threatens your life. Researchers now believe that bacteria associated with periodontitis may trigger the enzyme that allows cancer cells to attack and grow.

8. Erectile Dysfunction

Periodontitis has a negative impact on the blood vessels, which does more than contribute to heart disease. It may also interfere with the flow of blood to the penis, contributing to erectile dysfunction. Research has shown that men with erectile dysfunction are more likely to have periodontal disease.

9. Rheumatoid Arthritis

Gum disease shares one important factor with rheumatoid arthritis: inflammation. Scientific studies have found that the risk of developing arthritis increases along with the severity of periodontal disease. It’s likely due to the increase of inflammation, which has a systemic effect.

10. Kidney Disease

Bad bacteria and infection in the mouth could lead to inflammation that places unnecessary stress on the kidneys. That may contribute to the development of kidney disease, but it can also lead to serious complications for those already suffering from kidney issues.

Simple Tips to Prevent Disease

Poor oral health contributes to all of the above-listed diseases in a similar fashion. Harmful bacteria accumulate in the mouth and then spreads throughout the body, causing inflammation and activating the disease. Preventing the accumulation of bad bacteria reduces your risk of developing gum disease and protects the rest of your body.

The first step to stopping the spread of harmful oral bacteria is to schedule routine visits at your local Trinity Dental Center. Receiving a thorough oral exam and cleaning at least twice a year will eliminate plaque. We will also identify the early signs of gum disease and bacterial imbalances that could take a devastating toll on your overall health.

The following tips will help you make further adjustments to your lifestyle in order to prevent disease of the mouth and other organs:

Are you ready to protect arm your body with healthy oral bacteria? Contact your local Trinity Dental Center for a thorough dental exam today.

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