Your mouth is a reflection of your overall wellness and the gateway to your body. Surprisingly, we often see oral infections complicate underlying medical conditions or place individuals at a higher risk of serious health concerns.
If you’ve ever wondered how your oral health can directly affect your body, here are just a few examples:
Gum Disease, Cardiovascular Disease, and Stroke
The more severe a person’s gum disease is, the more likely they are to have oral bacteria spread into their bloodstream. They can even lodge themselves inside of blood vessels, your heart, and in the arteries/veins around your brain.
What we see in research is that people with aggressive periodontal infections are statistically more likely to experience heart attacks and strokes. Consequently, addressing your oral infections can help boost your immune system and lower your chances of cardiovascular disease.
Periodontal Infections and Pneumonia
With severe oral infections comes the added risk of potentially inhaling bacteria directly into the airway and lungs. Research shows us that people with periodontitis tend to develop more frequent lung disease and infections, such as pneumonia and other respiratory illnesses. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it was also found that people who had gum disease were more likely to require respirators when hospitalized.
If you have a loved one who is in a long-term care facility or prone to pneumonia, work with their caregivers to establish a good oral hygiene routine. Including nightly removal and cleaning of any dentures.
Diabetes and Blood Sugar Levels
The relationship between diabetes and gum disease is closely interwoven. When one gets worse, the other usually follows. It’s nearly impossible to treat one without the other. To stabilize your blood sugar levels and get gum disease under control, it’s important to manage them jointly. Plan regular cleanings, practice great oral hygiene every day, and follow the recommendations of your endocrinologist.
The better your oral health becomes, the more likely your glucose readings are to stabilize. It’s a win-win for both your health and your smile.
Reproductive Health Concerns (Men and Women)
Both men and women are affected by gum disease when it comes to their reproductive health.
Men with periodontitis are more likely to experience symptoms of erectile dysfunction (ED) as well as low sperm counts.
Women with gum disease are at a higher risk of preeclampsia during pregnancy, pre-term labour, giving birth to low-weight infants, and stillbirths during childbirth.
Similarly, couples where one of the partners has gum disease typically take longer to conceive compared to those without periodontal infections. Even couples undergoing IVF may not see as many positive results as those where both partners have healthy mouths.
Fortunately, treatment of gum infections can help boost reproductive health within just a few months post-treatment.
Do You Have Gingivitis or Gum Disease?
If you’re experiencing symptoms of swollen, bleeding gums, it’s time for a dental exam. Call Family Dentist Bells Corners today to reserve a periodontal evaluation and comprehensive dental exam.