Oral Health And Overall Health: How One Affects The Other

 Dental health is important to your overall health. Is that surprising to hear?

It's true, your dental and physical health affect each other in some surprising ways. Once you understand this connection, you can take steps to protect your overall health and well being.

Health Risks Related To Poor Dental Health

Poor gum health and inflammation are common dental issues. However, these issues can also affect your heart. Bacteria that cause periodontal disease can also get into your bloodstream causing plaque to build up in the arteries. This leads to the hardening of the arteries and heart disease.

Heart disease and increased risk of heart attack are not the only risks from poor oral health. Bad teeth and gums are also linked to other health conditions. 

  • Dementia
  • Respiratory infections
  • Erectile disfunction
  • Prostate problems

All these issues are traced to mouth bacteria that enter the body's bloodstream and cause inflammation and infection in other parts of the body.

Health Conditions That Affect Oral Health

Certain medical conditions and diseases can increase your risk of gum disease and tooth decay. If you have any of these conditions, tell your dentist so they can tailor your oral care to your needs.

  • High Blood pressure increases the risk of gum disease
  • Diabetes increases your risk of periodontitis
  • Kidney disease increases the risk of severe gum issues and poor bone health
  • Obesity can cause inflammation and periodontitis

When you have these conditions, your doctor and dentist can work together to ensure your overall wellbeing.

Seasonal Allergies And Oral Health

Seasonal allergies are not only uncomfortable, they can also affect your oral health. This is because allergies can cause the gums and tonsils to swell. Over time, this swelling can irritate gums. Irritated gums often lead to gum disease and gingivitis.

Toothaches are also common in people with seasonal allergies. This is because allergies can cause nasal congestion and pressure. This pressure, like sinusitis, causes pain in the face that radiates into the gums. Allergies also cause dry mouth. When the mouth is dry, it can cause canker sores.

Your overall health is important. Your dental health is just one aspect of how you feel overall. Since your physical and dental health both affect each other, it's important to schedule regular checkups with both your dentist and your primary care doctor. Taking care of both aspects is health is vital to keep you feeling you in the best overall health.

For more information, talk to a dentist today.