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Monday, May 20, 2024

The Link Between Oral Health & Overall Wellness

Good oral hygiene is essential to maintaining good oral health. One can prevent cavities, gum disease, and other oral health problems by brushing teeth twice daily, flossing regularly, and visiting their dentist for check-ups. However, the benefits of good oral health go beyond a pretty smile. Research has established a clear link between oral health and overall wellness. Poor oral health can lead to various health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, dementia, and more. Therefore, maintaining good oral health is essential for a healthy mouth and life.

Several factors can lead to poor oral hygiene. A lack of consistency in brushing and flossing is one of the most common reasons. Another factor is a poor diet, particularly one high in sugary or acidic foods and beverages.

Another common factor, misaligned teeth, can also contribute to poor oral hygiene. Crooked or crowded teeth can be challenging to clean properly, even with regular brushing and flossing. Straightening crooked teeth usually requires braces, which can be challenging to manage as they are often uncomfortable and can affect your eating habits and speech.

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Oral Health and Cardiac Issues

There is an established link between poor oral health and an increased risk of cardiac disease. Studies have shown that the bacteria that cause gum disease can enter the bloodstream, leading to inflammation in the arteries.

This inflammation can cause the walls of the arteries to thicken, leading to a condition known as atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis involves:

– The build-up of plaque in the arteries

– Reducing blood flow and increasing the risk of heart disease

– Heart attack.

– Stroke.

The bacteria in the mouth can also cause an infection in the heart’s inner lining, a condition known as infective endocarditis. This condition happens when bacteria get into the bloodstream and stick to damaged parts of the heart. The damage makes the heart valves swell and wear out.

Oral Health and Glycaemic Control

Poor oral hygiene can significantly impact glycaemic control, particularly for people with diabetes. When a person has gum disease, the gums become inflamed, and the inflammation can spread to other parts of the body, causing the body to become less sensitive to insulin.

This insulin resistance can make it more challenging to control blood sugar levels, leading to complications of diabetes. In turn, high blood sugar levels can increase the risk of developing gum disease, creating a vicious cycle that can be challenging to break.

Oral Health and Pregnancy

Poor oral hygiene can significantly impact pregnancy for the mother and the developing baby.

One of the most significant risks of gum disease during pregnancy is premature birth. Studies have indicated that gum disease in pregnant women can increase the likelihood of premature birth, resulting in various health complications for the baby, such as breathing problems, jaundice, and developmental delays.

Moreover, poor oral hygiene can also increase the risk of preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication that can lead to high blood pressure, damage to organs such as the liver and kidneys, and, in severe cases, seizures.

Pregnancy can cause hormonal changes that increase gum sensitivity, ultimately elevating the risk of developing gum disease.

These hormonal changes may lead to an increased risk of developing gum disease. Gum disease, in turn, can lead to other complications affecting the mother and the developing baby.

Oral Health and Dementia

A growing body of evidence suggests that an increased risk of developing dementia, a group of neurological disorders that affect memory, thinking, and behavior, can be linked to poor oral health.

One theory is that chronic inflammation, a hallmark of gum disease, may play a role in the development of dementia. When gum disease goes untreated, the inflammation can spread to other body parts, including the brain.

This long-term inflammation can damage brain cells and make it more likely that someone will get dementia.

Research has found that periodontitis, a severe gum disease, increases the likelihood of cognitive decline and dementia. A recent study found that individuals with periodontitis had a 70% higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia.

Oral Health and Prostate Issues

Researchers have linked poor oral health to an increased risk of developing dementia, a neurological disorder that affects memory, thinking, and behavior.

Some researchers propose that the same bacteria responsible for causing inflammation in the oral cavity can spread to the prostate gland and cause inflammation there.

This inflammation can cause damage to prostate cells and contribute to the development of prostate problems.

Several studies have found a link between poor oral health and prostate problems. In one study, men with the most severe forms of gum disease were twice as likely to develop prostate problems as healthy gums.

An investigation revealed that men with gum disease had elevated levels of a protein called prostate-specific antigen (PSA), typically higher in men with prostate problems.

Oral Health and Cancer

Oral cancer is the most well-known cancer associated with poor oral health. People with a family history of oral cancer, poor oral hygiene, use of tobacco products, alcohol consumption, or smoking are at a greater risk of developing oral cancer.

In addition to these risk factors, a type of oral bacteria known as Porphyromonas gingivalis has been identified in some oral cancer cases, suggesting a possible link between poor oral health and the development of oral cancer.

Moreover, an increased risk of other types of cancer, such as pancreatic cancer, oesophageal cancer, and colorectal cancer, may be linked to poor oral health. Research has indicated that certain types of cancer may be more likely to occur in individuals with specific bacteria in their mouths, which are associated with poor oral health.

Conclusion

We cannot overstate the importance of the link between oral health and overall wellness. The mouth serves as the gateway to the body, and poor oral hygiene can significantly impact other bodily systems, leading to various health problems.

Poor oral health can increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, pregnancy complications, dementia, prostate problems, and certain types of cancer.

On the other hand, good oral hygiene practices, such as regular brushing and flossing, routine dental check-ups and cleanings, and maintaining a healthy diet, can help prevent these health problems and promote overall health and well-being.

Additionally, early detection and treatment of oral health problems can prevent them from spreading to other body parts and causing further complications.

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HBC Editors
HBC Editorshttp://www.healthcarebusinessclub.com
HBC editors are a group of healthcare business professionals from diversified backgrounds. At HBC, we present the latest business news, tips, trending topics, interviews in healthcare business field, HBC editors are expanding day by day to cover most of the topics in the middle east and Africa, and other international regions.

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