More than one-third of Americans skipped their trip to the dentist this year. But, despite this, bad teeth and gums continue to plague a large number of people in the United States.
Not only this, poor oral health can lead to a string of other serious diseases that can affect your quality of life. In fact, they can be fatal.
Here are 8 issues caused by poor dental health:
8 Issues Caused by Poor Dental Health
Below are 8 health problems that go hand in hand with poor dental hygiene:
1. Respiratory Infections
If you don’t look after your gums, you may suffer from respiratory diseases in the future. This is because research suggests that people with gum disease are more likely to get pneumonia among other conditions.
If you have poor gum and dental hygiene, you breathe in more bacteria from your mouth into your body. This bacteria can cause inflammation and infections.
Unfortunately, this is also relevant if you have teeth infections. You can get these infections from untreated cavities among other problems.
If you don’t have healthy teeth and gums, you may also be at risk of contracting diabetes.
People with diabetes often have high blood sugar levels. This can increase the chances of gum disease. But, if you have gum disease you are also more likely to contract diabetes.
Gum disease can stop insulin in the body from doing its job. This magnifies the chances of diabetes. If you already suffer from a type of diabetes, gum disease can enhance the symptoms.
But, one of the biggest dental hygiene benefits is that by treating your gums, you can reduce the symptoms of diabetes. With this in mind, acting sooner rather than later could enhance your quality of life in the future.
3. Cardiovascular Issues
People with unhealthy gums and teeth are at higher risk of suffering from cardiovascular issues. In fact, more than 90% of people with heart problems also suffer from poor dental and gum health.
If your teeth and gums swell because of bacteria, this same bacteria can make its way into your body via your bloodstream.
Over time, the bacteria will reach your heart causing your arteries to harden.
If your arteries harden, you could be at risk of problems with your blood flow. These can cause blockages in the heart and, in turn, a higher chance of heart attacks.
Additionally, you could be at higher risk of having a stroke or developing endocarditis.
4. Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
The same bacteria that we have been talking about above can also kill brain cells. In fact, experts now believe that there could be a connection between poor oral health and memory loss.
Gingivitis is a condition where bacteria in the mouth enters the nerve channels or the bloodstream. This bacteria then kills brain cells leading to memory loss. Gingivitis can cause Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
5. Chronic Headaches
In comparison to the list of conditions above, chronic headaches may not seem like much. That said, they are very painful and can affect your quality of life in the long run.
Signs that show you may not have healthy teeth and gums include:
- Clicking in your jaw
- Grinding your teeth
- Sharp pain behind your eyes
- Painful jaw muscles
Your headaches could also be the result of a problem with your jaw. Sometimes, people get problems between the temporal bone of their skull and their jaw bone.
If your jaw clicks and you suffer from headaches near your temples, tell your dentist during your next consultation.
6. Kidney Disease
People with gum disease have a weaker immune system. This can lead to chronic kidney disease. Over time, this can spread to other parts of the body, some of which include:
- Blood pressure
Kidney problems can cause cardiovascular disease and kidney failure, both of which can be fatal.
Many believe that they’ll only get oral cancer if they smoke or use tobacco products. But, nothing could be further from the truth.
Gum disease and poor oral hygiene can cause various types of cancer. In fact, if you have poor oral health, you are at higher risk of contracting the following types of cancer:
- Lung cancer
- Blood cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Kidney cancer
There is now a link between poor oral health and fertility problems. Women who suffer from gum disease could find it more difficult to conceive.
They could also be at risk of an unhealthy pregnancy. This is because pregnant women go through hormonal changes that can cause them to suffer from infections in their mouths.
Poor oral health during pregnancy can also cause premature birth.
But, it doesn’t just affect women!
Problems with your teeth and gums can lead to erectile dysfunction. This is because gum disease can spread to the bloodstream and inflame blood vessels. Because an erection requires a healthy blood flow, it can be more difficult for men to achieve this if they have poor oral health.
Preventing Health Problems Caused by Bad Teeth
Today, there are various ways you can improve your oral health from the comforts of your own home. And, one of the biggest benefits is that you’ll be less likely to fall victim to one of the serious conditions above.
To make sure you have healthy teeth and gums, practice the following:
- Brush your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes each time
- Avoid using tobacco products
- Floss your teeth every day
- Don’t binge on sugary foods that can cause cavities
- Eat well and exercise to ensure you get all the right nutrients
Visit Your Local Dentist
As you can see, maintaining healthy teeth and gums is very important if you want your entire body to function as it should.
Health problems caused by bad teeth and gums are not unusual which is why it’s important you see your dentist every year.
At Doug Lewis Dentistry, we provide cleaning and prevention services that will ensure you stay happy and healthy for the foreseeable future.
So, if you’re in Birmingham, Alabama, contact us today to book your consultation.