Did you know that poor dental hygiene can actually cause other health problems as well? Not only will your teeth, gums, and the rest of your mouth suffer the consequences of poor dental hygiene habits, but various other parts of your body can be affected by ill dental health as well. It is important to take good care of your teeth because dental hygiene and your health are closely correlated. Let’s take a look at five of the ways poor dental hygiene causes health problems!
1. Heart Health
One of the most notable ways that poor dental hygiene affects your health is with heart health. Failing to take care of your teeth can put you at a higher risk of developing heart disease. Bacteria that collects in your mouth from not brushing or flossing your teeth has the capability of causing periodontal disease, which inflames and infects your gums.
This same bacteria then has the ability to travel into the bloodstream. When this happens, it can lead to your arteries building up a layer of plaque that then becomes hard, causing blockages and issues with your blood flow. This is called atherosclerosis, and it greatly increases the chance you have of experiencing a heart attack.
In addition to this condition, there is also a potential for developing endocarditis. This is an infection of the heart tissue itself, caused by the bacteria that travels from your mouth. In many circumstances, this condition is fatal. Even if it is not, however, it can cause a strain on your arteries, blood vessels, and heart muscles, leading to hypertension and an increased risk for experiencing strokes.
Another way that poor dental hygiene can affect your overall health is by impacting your brain. When your gums get infected and inflamed from not brushing and flossing properly, it is known as gingivitis. Infected gums create substances that can travel into your brain and kill brain cells. This leads to irreversible damage and memory loss, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s.
3. Respiratory Infections
Just like with your heart and your brain, the bacteria that develops in your mouth from poor dental hygiene can also affect your lungs. When you are breathing through your mouth, you can potentially breathe this bacteria into your lungs, which can lead to respiratory infections. This can also result in pneumonia, bronchitis, COPD, and other lung-related conditions. Dealing with chronic shortness of breath or difficulty breathing can seriously impact your quality of life as well.
The effect that poor dental hygiene has in regard to diabetes is two-fold. If you already have diabetes, you are more susceptible to developing infections. This means that it is easier for gingivitis and periodontal disease to occur more frequently if you do not keep up with brushing and flossing regularly.
On the other hand, developing these conditions in the mouth make it harder to control your diabetic symptoms, which in turn leads to more mouth diseases, and so on and so forth. If you do not already have diabetes, gum disease and periodontal disease make it easier for you to develop it.
5. Rheumatoid Arthritis
Gum disease and periodontal disease also make you more likely to have Rheumatoid Arthritis. In fact, it makes you four times as likely. Bacteria that causes infection and inflammation of your gums can travel elsewhere in the body and cause inflammation in any area it is present.
Considering that Rheumatoid Arthritis is an inflammatory disease, if you have gingivitis you are at a higher risk for it. In addition, the more you experience tooth loss at the hands of gingivitis or gum disease, the more likely you are to develop RA.
Castle Valley Dental & Your Health
Now that you have come to see just how much dental hygiene and your health go hand-in-hand, you may be wondering what you can do about it. At home, regularly brushing your teeth and flossing can help decrease your chances of developing periodontal disease. Setting up regular dental cleanings at Castle Valley Dental can also help. If you find yourself searching for “Dental Care Near Me,” we hope you give us a call to see how we can help today!