Dental hygiene isn’t just about having strong, white teeth and a great smile; it’s also crucial for your overall health! Poor oral hygiene and gum disease are linked to a variety of conditions and illnesses- some of which can be very severe and life-threatening. Continue reading to learn more about gum disease and how it affects more than just your gums.
Heart Attack or Stroke
You may be surprised to hear that gum disease doesn’t only affect your mouth. Your mouth, teeth, and gums are all directly linked with your cardiovascular system. When your gums are inflamed, you may develop small cuts for bacteria to travel through your bloodstream. The bacteria can find its way to the arteries of your heat, which contributes to atherosclerosis, or the thickening of the arteries. This puts you at a much higher risk of experiencing a heart attack or stroke.
Did you know that gum disease is also linked to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease? As mentioned above, gum disease can result in bacteria and germs traveling through your bloodstream to other areas of your body. Bacteria associated with gum disease can travel to your brain, resulting in an immune response. This response can eventually cause changes in the brain’s structure and result in a higher risk of cognitive decline.
If you are diagnosed with diabetes or are at risk of developing diabetes, it is even more crucial to maintain great oral health. Those who have diabetes are already at risk of developing gum disease, and the disease is a risk factor for causing reduced blood sugar levels. A study found that those who have diabetes and gum disease are six times more likely to have difficulty controlling blood sugar levels than diabetes living without gum disease.
In the advanced stages of gum disease, people can experience the loss of teeth and reduced bone density. Bone density can because so low that the bones around the mouth and jaw are very fragile and brittle. The complications associated with bone loss can result in a higher risk of developing severe infections, and even a reduced ability to eat and speak.
Keep Your Smile Healthy with Affinity
Affinity Dental, located in Catonsville, MD, has six dentists and provides a variety of services from pediatric dentistry to orthodontics. Affinity Dental is capable of meeting all your needs. With 170 combined years of treating a variety of dental needs, Affinity is committed to providing quality dental care. To get your teeth back into good health and make your smile bright, call us at 410-719-7900 or contact us online. For other useful tips on dental care follow us on Facebook and Twitter.