Lack of Dental Care Impacts Your General Health

Jan 25th, 2012 | By | Category: Dental News, Preventive Care

Dental Care Millions of Americans do not have access to dental care, and the effects go far beyond just having tooth problems. Oral health and overall body health are closely linked in what is known as the mouth-body connection. Research and anecdotal evidence have shown that poor dental care can be linked to the following:

  • Heart disease. Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums caused by an overgrowth of tooth plaque. Periodontal disease and heart disease are both inflammatory conditions, and the theory linking them is that oral bacteria find their way into the bloodstream, causing swelling and inflammation of the arteries.
  • Alzheimer’s disease. Studies have shown a possible causal link between gum disease and Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Oral bacteria have been found in the blood plasma of Alzheimer’s patients, and it is thought that prolonged periods of gum inflammation can lead to cognitive dysfunction.
  • Respiratory illness. Research shows that the same bacteria causing gum disease can be breathed into the lungs and consequently cause a respiratory infection.
  • Diabetes. The link between diabetes and poor dental health is a two-way street. Diabetics are naturally more prone to infection and thus develop gum disease and other tooth problems more easily. In addition, existing gum problems can cause high blood sugar in a diabetic, making it harder to control the diabetes.
  • Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis puts you at risk of losing bone mass, which includes the teeth and bones of the jaw. If you have osteoporosis, improper dental care can put your already precarious bone health at greater risk.
  • Pregnancy. Studies have shown a correlation between gum disease and premature birth and low birth weight. The inflammatory nature of gum disease can lead to preeclampsia, a potentially fatal condition of pregnancy that often causes a mother to deliver a pre-term baby.
  • Depression and low self esteem. An unattractive smile, pain, or the inability to eat or speak properly can shake your confidence and leave you feeling low.
  • Digestion problems. If you cannot chew your food properly due to painful dental problems, it can lead to digestive issues. Likewise, the inability to eat a varied diet because of tooth problems can impair digestion and even lead to malnutrition.
  • Behavior and developmental problems in children. A lack of dental care can cause a host of problems in a growing child. Children who experience tooth pain, cannot eat properly, or are embarrassed to show off their smiles, will not thrive.

If you feel that your oral health may be affecting the rest of your body, Dr. Alex Denes or Dr. Claudia Denes can help. Call Fresno Dental Studio at (559) 297-1800 to schedule a checkup today and start improving the health of your mouth and your entire body. We gladly serve patients in Fresno, Sanger, Selma, Kerman, Parlier, Kingsburg, and the surrounding areas.

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