It is important to have proper oral hygiene. Not only should you brush and floss your teeth, but you should also make frequent visits to your dentist for a dental cleaning. Not only will this help maintain your oral health, but it will also promote your overall health. Studies have shown that gum diseases and poor oral hygiene can lead to an increased risk of heart disease. In the next section, we will talk more about how dental problems may lead to heart disease. We hope this will make you realize the importance of your oral health.
Common Dental Problems:
How They Can Impact your Oral Health
With bad oral hygiene comes oral health problems. Apparently, there are plenty of oral health problems that you may face. Below are some of the common ones:
- Cavities: Studies show that one out of four adults has an untreated cavity. Every adult will have tooth decay at some point. You may have a cavity if you feel pain, if food gets caught in your teeth, or if it hurts to eat something cold or hot. Good oral hygiene may keep you from developing cavities. Leaving them untreated can lead to further oral diseases.
- Gingivitis: Apparently, gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease. It is an infection of the tissues around your teeth caused by plaque. It is characterized by red, swollen gums. Your gums may bleed easily, and you may have bad breath too. This happens when you skip brushing and flossing, smoke tobacco, have crooked teeth, or take certain medications.
- Periodontitis: When gingivitis is left unattended, it can escalate to periodontitis, which is an advanced form of gum disease. This disease is characterized by constant bleeding, swollen gums, persistent bad breath or taste, and a change in bite. This can even lead to tooth loss.
- Cold Sores: Cold sores are fluid-filled blisters that erupt on your lips, under your nose or around your chin. They are caused by a virus known as herpes simplex virus type 1. It’s important to have cold sores treated immediately. Once you have it, you are likely to get them again. They are often red, yellow or gray, and symptoms include itching or tingling by your mouth.
- Teeth Chipping and Grinding: Chipped teeth are caused by chewing on hard food like nuts or ice cubes, grinding your teeth, or mouth piercings. Teeth grinding, on the other hand, is most likely to happen when you’re sleeping or stressed during the day.
The link between Oral Diseases and Heart Diseases
Studies have shown the connection between gum disease and heart disease. It is said that bad oral hygiene contributes to atherosclerosis (narrowing of the blood vessels), stroke, or heart diseases. This is because researchers discovered that the bacteria behind gum disease is the same bacteria that increases heart disease rate or stroke.
Researchers found out four different bacteria associated with gum disease and heart disease. They are Porphyromonas gingivalis, Treponema denticola, Tannerella forsythia, and Fusobacterium nucleatum. Their presence in your gums, heart, arteries, and aorta, are likely to increase cholesterol and inflammation, which are associated with the increase in risk factors for heart disease.
That said, the mouth is the gate of the body and the bacteria entering into it. Therefore, there is a direct connection between systemic diseases and oral hygiene. The bottom line is, oral disease may indirectly or directly lead to heart disease.
Proper Oral Hygiene
Now that we’ve established the possible connection between oral diseases and heart diseases, it’s important to maintain proper oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing your teeth every day, getting your teeth cleaned on a regular basis, eating the right kinds of food, quitting smoking, and having dental work done to fix damaged or fractured teeth may contribute to your overall oral health. As a result, this will minimize the risk of you getting heart diseases brought by the bacteria that also cause oral health problems. Icon Dental Center is a dental office in Seattle, if you’re looking for a new local dentist in Seattle, come to visit us today!