Oral health is more important to leading a healthy lifestyle than most people realize. If the teeth and gums are not properly taken care of, the entire body is affected. That is because the mouth is an integral part of the body’s immune system functioning. If it is full of infection and bacteria, then it can rapidly spread through the blood stream, which can cause systemic inflammation and infection. This affects the body is several of the following ways.
Heart Disease and Stroke
There is a direct correlation between the presence of periodontal disease and the risk for heart disease and stroke. That is because the periodontal disease bacteria causes widespread inflammation of the body. Professionals, like those at Periodontal Specialists, know that it also thickens the carotid arteries and contributes to plaque formation in the arteries. If the arteries become blocked, then blood can’t flow through properly to the heart and brain, which leads to a stroke or heart attack.
Chronic inflammation from poor dental health causes the immune system to be switched on all of the time when it would normally only switch on when the body is under attack. So, instead of fighting off harmful bacteria and viruses, the immune system begins to attack healthy tissue, such as the joints. This can lead to painful arthritis that makes movement more difficult.
Decaying Bones and Tissue
Untreated dental problems can lead to a person’s jaw bone and mouth tissue to start decaying. This not only affects a person’s health and appearance, but it also makes eating more difficult. Significant jaw and tissue loss requires surgery that increases the risk of the bacteria and infection spreading throughout the body.
Symptoms of Poor Dental Health
One of the first symptoms of poor dental health that a person might notice is that their gums bleed when they brush their teeth or floss. If the gums are pulling away from the teeth, this is called periodontal disease. It a sign of more serious oral health problems. There might also be noticeable bad breath and cavities or broken teeth present.
To prevent the risk of disease due to poor oral health, be sure to brush and floss daily after each meal. Limit the amount of sugar and junk foods that you consume. The healthier your diet, the stronger your teeth will be. Also, don’t forget to see your dentist at least twice a year for regular cleanings and a check-up.