The connection between oral/dental health and overall health is well established. There are several ways in which neglected oral hygiene can affect your general health. The following are some examples:
- HEART DISEASE: Those with advanced gum disease/Periodontitis are at an increased risk of heart attack. The bacteria present in millions in the plaque and calculus deposits in the mouth can travel through the blood stream and cause cardiovascular problems.
- STROKE: Those with adult periodontitis are at increased risk of stroke.
- UNCONTROLLED DIABETES: Diabetes can alter the bacterial environment in the mouth contributing to overgrowth of harmful bacteria. Smokers with diabetes increase their risk of tooth loss by 20 times.
- RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS: Inhaling bacteria present in dental plaque through mouth and throat can lead to pneumonia and other lung conditions.
- PRETERM/LOW BIRTH WEIGHT INFANTS: Hormonal and vascular changes during pregnancy leads to increased inflammation/swelling of gums commonly in 2nd-8th month of pregnancy. In addition, these oral microbes can also cross the placental barrier exposing the fetus to infection.
- SEVERE OSTEOPENIA: Reduction in bone mass (osteopenia) is associated with gum disease and related tooth loss especially in postmenopausal women.
Brush gently twice daily for strong teeth.
Floss daily (after every meal) to keep your gums healthy. Brushing does not clean the food particles stuck in between teeth and gums.
Pay a visit to your dentist every 6 months to monitor any budding problem at an early stage. As it has been rightly said, "Nip the evil in the Bud."
Get regular professional cleaning/scaling done (at least twice a year).
Never ignore anything unusual in your mouth. Home remedies, pain killers, antibiotics do not repair tooth damage.
Eat healthy, stay stress-free and love the gums you're with!