Brush twice a day and floss at least once a day. This routine is drilled into most of us during early childhood. Taking care of your teeth and gums is essential for your oral health. You may find your motivation for dental hygiene habits simply from that importance. Or perhaps keeping a healthy smile motivates you to brush and floss. Research has discovered that more than a glowing smile and healthy gums are at stake in your dental hygiene habits.
More and more research shows a person’s overall health can be dramatically affected by their oral health. Serious health conditions can be exacerbated or triggered by poor oral hygiene. Most of these health complications stem from the same issue: the bacteria in your mouth find a way into your body’s bloodstream. Your mouth can be a gateway to bacteria arriving at all sorts of destinations around your body. Your inflamed gums can lead to inflammation throughout your body.
Here are 7 of the Biggest Health Problems Caused by Poor Dental Health
1) Cardiovascular diseases
Cardiovascular disease is perhaps the worst effect poor dental hygiene can have on your body. Research has found a link between less frequent brushing and flossing with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. You are 25% more likely to develop cardiovascular disease if you have poor oral health.
The bacteria in your mouth can enter the bloodstream anytime your gums bleed. Once in the bloodstream, these bacteria can make their way to the heart. Simply regularly brushing and flossing your teeth can lower your chance of developing cardiovascular disease.
2) Respiratory infections, such as pneumonia
Similarly, bad oral hygiene may lead to infections, such as pneumonia. Bacteria, having gained entrance to the body through the gums, travel to the lungs. People with poor dental hygiene have a greater chance of developing pneumonia or other respiratory infections.
Many studies have shown the connection between dental disease and diabetes. If you have dental disease and inflammation, you are more likely to develop diabetes. Similarly, if you have diabetes, you are more likely to develop dental disease. Taking care of your teeth and gums can prevent diabetes.
Other research shows that those who brush and floss regularly are better able to control their diabetes. Brushing and flossing can help maintain and stabilize blood sugar levels.
Although research has tied oral health to better diabetes control, a majority of people are unaware of this crucial information. Both the World Health Organization and the International Federation of Diabetes are trying to increase awareness and educate the public about this important link.
Many have linked dementia to poor oral health. Taking care of teeth becomes more and more difficult as memory loss progresses. Some health professionals and studies also see poor oral health as a potential path to dementia.
Medical professionals are exploring a connection between the health of the nerves in your teeth and the memory and learning parts of the brain. Studies have also found a connection between the ability to enjoy eating, to eat without pain and the memory and learning parts of the brain. Taking care of your teeth can help your brain continue to learn and remember well.
5) Erectile dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction, an underreported, but pretty common health concern, may also be because of diseased gums. Now, how exactly can you get erectile dysfunction from bad oral hygiene? The answer is simple. An infection or inflammation in your mouth can lead to infection and inflammation elsewhere. Simply put, the bacteria from infected gums can find its way into the bloodstream and clog the stream which will result in slow circulation of the blood. Decreased circulation can be a factor in ED. This can all be prevented if you take care of your mouth and teeth every day.
6) Kidney disease
Poor oral health can lead to kidney infection. It all starts with the bacteria that can be found in infected gums. Bleeding gums or bacteria traveling though saliva can find a way to the kidneys. As more research comes out, studies continue to show kidney disease and oral health are linked. Brushing and flossing help control the bacteria in your mouth and in your kidneys.
The connection between oral health and cancer is still being studied. It has become clear that cancer and oral health are connected, though. An unhealthy mouth, full of bacteria and disease, leads to an imbalance of bacteria in other areas of the body. Oral, gastrointestinal, lung, breast, prostate, and uterine cancers have all been linked to poor oral health.
More and more doctors and dentists are recognizing the link between oral health and overall health. Bacteria can find an easy door to the rest of the body through your mouth. Serious health conditions may be prevented by taking care of your mouth. Brushing and flossing on a daily basis will not only help you keep your teeth healthy, but also help keep the rest of your body in good condition.