In the last decade, the link between oral health and the condition of the body has been more thoroughly investigated than ever before. According to the American Dental Association, approximately 40% of people with serious gum disease also had a chronic health condition. This figure is far too high to be a coincidence and we look at why your mouth could be the gateway to the body.
The gums become more prone to infection when bacteria builds up on the teeth. The gums get inflamed after the immune system fights the infection and unless the infection is controlled, the inflammation continues. Over the course of time, the chemicals released by the inflammation begin to damage the gums and the bone structure that keeps your teeth in place. As a result, you end up with gum disease, also known as periodontitis, and this is known to cause issues in the rest of the body.
Studies suggest that inflammation which starts in the mouth reduces the body’s ability to control blood sugar. Those suffering from diabetes have a lack of insulin; this is a crucial hormone when it comes to converting sugar into energy. Inflammation impairs your body’s ability to use insulin. Additionally, high blood sugar allows infections to grow more easily, especially gum infections so there is a two-way link between poor oral health and diabetes.
Over 90% of people with blood disease have periodontitis; one of the reasons for this is the number of risk factors in common including excess weight, smoking and an unhealthy diet. Again, it appears as if inflammation in the mouth leads to blood vessel inflammation and this raises blood pressure by allowing less blood to travel between your heart and the rest of your body.
If you wish to learn more about the link between poor oral hygiene and poor health, get in touch with a PMDC dentist today and we can discuss treatment options.