How Does Poor Oral Care Affect Your Overall Health?
Let us look at some of the major areas of concern:
- Cardiovascular disease
The bacteria from gum inflammation and periodontal disease can end up entering the bloodstream and travel to the arteries in your heart, leading to atherosclerosis (a thickening of the wall of the arteries). The disease can cause plaques to build up on the inner walls of the arteries, which end up becoming thick. This might block or decrease the blood flow through your body, which in turn increases your chance of contracting a stroke or a heart attack. The inner lining of your heart can also become inflamed and infected and the condition is referred to as endocarditis.
Gingival bacteria can take residence in the brain through the nerve channels in your head or through your bloodstream. This might eventually lead to Alzheimer’s disease.
- Respiratory infections
According to the Journal of Periodontology, gum disease can lead to a lung infection, including pneumonia. While the connection might not seem obvious to you or your general physician at first, picture what might happen from breathing in the bacteria from your infected gums and teeth for a prolonged period.
- Diabetic complications
Periodontal disease and inflammation of the gum tissue can make it difficult for you to control the blood sugar levels in your body and end up making your diabetes worse. More importantly, people who suffer from diabetes are more vulnerable to periodontal disease making it crucial for them to receive proper dental care. Flossing and brushing do more than keeping your pearly white teeth healthy. They also prevent major illnesses. Poor oral care is also a major factor in a lot of other conditions, like immune system dysfunction, weak bones, problems during pregnancy and low weight at birth.
Establish good hygiene
The bottom line is clear
Practice proper dental care by encouraging your family to follow good oral hygiene practices. Make sure they brush their teeth after every meal with a fluoride toothpaste, floss at least once a day and use a mouth wash to kill off the bacteria.
Get your kids a Playbrush to make brushing fun. The device uses a gaming algorithm to make sure you’re your kids brush long enough and everywhere in their mouth. It deploys integrated statistics to monitor your children’s brushing habits.
You will also need to take your kids to visit a dental care professional for regular cleanings to prevent cavities. Doing it will protect more than their teeth – it might save their life.
Aditi is a writer for Kids Choice Dental, a cosmetic and pediatric practice in Albuquerque and New Mexico. She writes about dental health best practices.