My friend Amelia has always been a healthy individual – or so she believes. And why should she not? She has never been hospitalized and she exercises regularly and eats a healthy diet. One day though, while enjoying a small helping of ice cream, she felt a sharp and sudden pain in her mouth. Not used to the sensation, she went to the dentist who told her that she had a sensitive tooth. After explaining to her the nature of her condition, the dentist asked Amelia how frequently she visits a dental office and how often she has her teeth and gums checked. Amelia confessed that she never bothers because she has never had any dental concern in the past. To Amelia’s surprise, the dentist reprimanded her (albeit gently) for such negligence. The dentist also told Amelia that dental care from her local family dentistry would not only help her avoid gum diseases but also other illnesses relevant to her physical health and well-being. The dentist further explained to Amelia that recent studies have also shown how proper dental care can prevent more expensive health problems. Likewise, certain medical conditions can be first detected from observations of the mouth, which makes regular dental check-up an even more advantageous investment.
So what were the things that Amelia found out? Let us discuss some of them one by one.
- Periodontitis, Gingivitis and the Human Heart. Gum Disease often goes undetected unless gum inflammation becomes chronic and really bad. The thing with this type of mouth infection though is that it also opens the person to vulnerability of a heart disease, since bacteria can travel from the mouth to the heart through the bloodstream. If you already have a bad heart due to certain damages to it, bacteria and germs from your mouth infection can lead to Endocarditis, which is blight on the endocardium or the inner lining of the heart. Similarly, infections on the mouth are associated with risks of stroke, clogging of arteries and heart attacks.
- Dental Health and Pregnancy. Doctors also claim that women who are pregnant and who also have gum infection may suffer pre-mature birthing. There are also women who may not have pre-maturely birthed babies but their babies have low birth weight. Although there may not be a causal relationship between these two, their correlation is scary enough as it is that women should be more concerned about their dental hygiene.
- Your Jaw and Osteoporosis.Loss of teeth as well as loss of bone on the lower jaw, are both associated with osteoporosis. When people have osteoporosis, the condition can affect any bone in the body, including the jaw. When this happens, gums might recede, which can contribute to loosening of teeth.
- Your Sweet Tooth and Diabetes. Sugar intake is important but too frequent consumption of it can cause tooth decay. When the person has diabetes, regulating sugar intake becomes all the more significant to avoid oral chaos.
- Your Mouth and Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia. In connection to teeth loss, those who lose many teeth prior to turning 35 years old have been found to be at higher risk of developing a condition known as Alzheimer’s. With regards to memory loss Researchers have discovered that traces of bacteria that are often associated with mouth infections can be seen in the brains of people with dementia, which is a feature of Alzheimer’s.
- Oral Health and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Just because a person has HIV, it does not mean that he should not care about his health anymore. With a compromised immune system, it is essential for a person with HIV to be more careful with things, even with his oral hygiene. He is prone to developing oral warts which may lead to oral cancer and may also have oral hairy leukoplakia, canker sores, gum diseases, oral thrush including the common cavities!
Considering these possible health problems, it would really be good if people would take care of their teeth, their gum, tongue and their whole mouth all the time. As for Amelia, she spends adequate time on dental care now that she is more knowledgeable on these things. You should too. So aside from flossing, brushing and gargling with a mouthwash, see your dentist regularly to keep your gummy blues away.