If you think that the effect of your oral health ends in your mouth, you are certainly getting it wrong. In fact, oral health has been linked with many deadly effects like cancer, heart attack, dementia, and stroke. Unfortunately, more than 9 out of every ten American adults had cavities about two-thirds of seniors have tooth and gum problems. But why is an oral infection so common in the United States?
Firstly, it is not only in America that people are not taking their oral health as important as they suppose to take it. It is a global issue. However, the cause is the most important thing. Oral problems arise from our diet. We all know that Americans are culprits here. Most of what we eat are actually harmful to our teeth and gum. The first thing we should realize is that there are several bacteria in our mouth, some are beneficial and some are harmful. The beneficial bacteria helps in digestion and boosting body immunity. They also attack dangerous bacteria.
However, food that contains too much sugar, carbohydrates, and acid content helps the harmful bacteria to thrive and multiply. Even vegetarians are not spared as processed grains, sugary drinks, and fruits can all cause harm to our oral health. When we eat this kind of food, the harmful bacteria in our mouth can easily combine with sugar and starch in the food to cause different havoc to our dental health leading to tooth decay, gum infection, cavity, periodontitis among many other oral diseases.
Tooth and gum infections do not always start from the mouth. It has been discovered that some problems with digestion can cause tooth problems. Such digestive disorders include gluten intolerance and celiac disease. This condition can cause the enamel to degrade and cause a cavity. This is probably due to the wrong absorption of minerals and the inflammation caused by gluten intolerance. This simply means our overall health can affect our dental health, but more astonishing is how our dental health can impact our overall health.
Dental Infection Can Put Men At A Higher Risk of ED
That may surprise you but it is true. When you allow harmful bacteria to infect your teeth and gum, they rapidly multiply and may get their way to your bloodstream. In the blood, these bacteria can attack the blood vessels and prevent proper blood flow to the sexual organs and other vital parts of the body. This may lead to erectile dysfunction among other things.
It Can Also Affect the Heart, Cause Hypertension and Stroke
For the same reason as ED, if bacteria that infect damaged teeth and gum get to the bloodstream, they can make the blood clot, attack the blood vessels and make them narrow, and also cause inflammation. If the blood takes these bacteria to the heart, they can attack the inner heart wall and this may lead to dangerous heart problems like endocarditis. The attack on the blood vessels can cause hypertension and stroke.
Gum Diseases Can Cause Dementia and Alzheimer’s Diseases
If your gum is attacked, it will release some substances that are dangerous to the brain. This can kill brain cells and lead to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Poor Oral Health Can Increase the Risk of Cancer
If you smoke or take too much tobacco, you are at a higher risk of developing oral cancer. But apart from oral cancer, teeth and gum infection can also cause blood cancer, pancreatic cancer, kidney cancer, and many other forms of cancer.
Lungs and Respiratory Infections
There are two major ways harmful bacteria in the mouth can get to the lungs. You can inhale them and they can be carried by the blood. Whichever way, when these bacteria get to the lungs they can cause severe lung infection. This may affect respiration, increase the severity of lung diseases like COVID-19, cause pneumonia, bronchitis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Poor Oral Health Makes Diabetes Worse
Gum infection will make the sugar in your blood increase, hence exposing you to a higher risk of diabetes. Even without oral infection causing diabetes, it may make the symptoms worse. A diabetic with tooth and gum infection will find it difficult to lower its blood sugar.
As gum infection can worsen diabetes, so will diabetes worsen gum infection. As it is well known that people suffering from diabetes have a higher rate of infection, this includes teeth and gum infection. Hence it is essential for a diabetic to take special care of his dental health.
Other Oral Health Effects
Teeth and gum infection can also lead to asthma, infertility, a complication with pregnancy, kidney problems, arthritis, and autoimmune disease. So how can you take proper care of your dental health?
Practices That Will Improve Your Oral Health
- Brush your teeth regularly and also floss
- Visit a dentist for an oral examination at least once a year
- Avoid foods that are too sugary, acidic, or starchy.
- Avoid smoking, and taking too much tobacco
- Live a healthy lifestyle
You should understand that your overall health also determines your oral health. Therefore your lifestyle is very important. Eat a balanced diet and ensure your food does not promote dangerous oral bacteria. Exercise regularly, and sleep well. If you are healthy, your mouth will surely be healthy.
With Gratitude and Love