Poor Oral Hygiene Health Risks & Tips To Fix From Madison Dentists
Many people are unaware of the effects the mouth and gums have on your overall health. You may think there isn’t a connection, but recent research proves there may be more overall health risks associated with poor oral hygiene than you think. Read on to see a few of the linked factors and how you can better protect your overall health with good oral hygiene habits.
To get the most out of oral health care in Madison, WI area, contact Total Care Dental. Our staff provides life-changing preventative dental care that can save your oral health.
The Data: How Oral Health & Overall Health Are Linked
After extensive research and clinical studies, conclusive evidence demonstrates inadequate oral hygiene does affect your overall health and well-being. “The significance of the mouth as part of our health is often overlooked and underappreciated," says Dr. Caswell Evans (as cited in the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry, 2019). If you’re not thinking about your oral health, you’re not doing your best to improve your overall health.
Periodontal disease is the leading factor associated with chronic health conditions. Turning your gums into a direct gateway for harmful bacteria and plaque, periodontal disease can have lasting effects on your overall health. Recent studies have also shown people who suffer from gum disease are more likely to have a chronic condition as well.
How Dental Health Affects Overall Health
The importance of maintaining excellent oral hygiene cannot be overstated. Most health complications can be prevented simply by taking care of your mouth. Below are a few debilitating chronic conditions and health problems believed to be associated with poor oral hygiene.
- Bone loss
- Inflammation of blood vessels
- Hardened arteries
- High blood pressure
- Blood clots
- Fertility problems
7 Chronic Health Problems Associated with Poor Oral Hygiene
1. Endocarditis - Bacteria gain entry from the mouth into the bloodstream and attach themselves to areas of the heart. This bacteria infects the inner lining of the heart, its chambers and valves. The infection can become fatal if not treated immediately.
2. Cardiovascular Disease - Plaque gains entry from the mouth to the heart, arteries and blood vessels. Plaque usually builds up in the blood vessels, leading to clogged arteries and blood clots.
3. Diabetes - Inflammation in the mouth from periodontal disease begins to weaken the body’s ability to utilize insulin and process sugars in the blood to convert them into energy. Due to the lack of insulin used, the body’s blood pressure tends to build.
4. Cancer - Many studies have shown a strong correlation between people with gum disease and cancer. The strongest relationships are between gum disease and pancreatic cancer or oropharyngeal cancer. The correlation between the cause and effect factors have not been scientifically proven yet.
5. Alzheimer’s Disease / Dementia - Studies are attempting to link gum disease and dementia. Experts believe this happens when the brain is repeatedly exposed to bacteria or other harmful agents from the gums. This bacteria causes immune responses which kill nerve cells, resulting in potential memory loss.
6. Osteoporosis - Loss of bone tissue is present in both osteoporosis and periodontal disease. Osteoporosis mainly affects the bones in the hip, back and wrist, while gum disease mainly occurs in the teeth and jawbone. Clinical studies are trying to prove that inflammation from periodontal disease affects the bones throughout the body, not just the jawbone and teeth.
7. Pregnancy Complications - Due to hormonal fluxes in the body’s chemistry, pregnancy sometimes causes periodontal disease. Periodontal disease allows plaque and bacteria into the bloodstream, reaching and affecting the fetus. Gum disease has been linked to low birth weights, premature births, and infections in newborns.
The Solution: 5 Tips to Avoid Problems CAused By Poor Oral Hygiene
- Brush your teeth 2-3 times daily: Regular brushing can remove plaque, food particles, and bacteria from getting logged in between your teeth and gums.
- Replace your toothbrush every 2-4 months: Keeping to a set toothbrush replacement schedule can eliminate the added risk of introducing further bacteria into your mouth.
- Floss daily: Flossing does a better job of removing plaque and food from between teeth than brushing.
- Use antiseptic mouthwash: Regular use of mouthwash can kill additional bacteria, freshen your breath, and reduce your risk of gum disease.
- Schedule bi-annual appointments with your dentist: Regular visits to the dentist for checkups and cleanings can help catch oral health problems before they become serious.
TCD Madison Helps Prevent Poor Oral Hygiene Risks
Don’t let poor oral hygiene get the best of you and your health. Treatment for poor oral hygiene consists of a few simple rules. Follow our tips above to drastically reduce your chances of periodontal disease and other unforeseen health complications down the line.
If you suspect you may be suffering from gum disease, don’t delay in contacting our team of Madison dentists. We will evaluate the current state of your mouth and devise a customized treatment plan to help stop or reverse the gum disease affecting your health.
Contact the Madison dentists at TCD Madison to find out if you are at risk for gum disease.
University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry. (2019). The Surprising Connections Between Oral Health and Well-Being. Retrieved from https://dentistry.uic.edu/news-stories/the-surprising-connections-between-oral-health-and-well-being [Accessed on February 3rd, 2023].