Can Oral Health Concerns Affect Our Overall Health?
It’s 2017 and although we’ve had major advances in healthcare and information, many patients think of their oral health as separate from their overall health. Our minds play associations with words and dentist means mouth and teeth to most versus a whole body conversation. However, your oral health goes beyond chewing function and bite surfaces. Oral health issues often times can be an indicator of a variety of other health problems.
Links between Oral Health and Overall Health
During the late 1980s, researchers started seeing a disturbing trend in patients that had recently had heart attacks. As the Journal of the American Dental Association reported, they observed that these patients were more likely to have dental caries or cavities, periodontitis or inflammation around the tooth, and other forms of gum disease. Additional studies found similar results; dentists and doctors now recognize poor oral health as a risk factor for a variety of heart conditions such as heart attacks, atherosclerosis, and coronary heart disease.
There are even more links between oral health problems and overall health problems. Some individuals do not find out that they have Type 2 diabetes until a dentist sees that they have periodontitis. If you have diabetes, worsening periodontitis can indicate that your diabetes is not under control.
Poor oral health is also associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Furthermore, poor oral health puts you at higher risk for respiratory infections, such as pneumonia, because harmful pathogens can enter your body through your mouth.
Here at Austin Cosmetic Dentistry we educate our patients about concerns we may have after doing their routine cleaning and check up. Please don’t be too afraid to ask any question, we are here for you & your overall health!
Take Care of Your Teeth
Keeping your teeth healthy remains important, especially as you grow older. Older adults are more prone to dental caries and other oral health problems, as well as to chronic diseases. While taking care of your oral health might not prevent a specific disease, a healthy mouth is a significant factor in your overall health.
You can take care of your teeth by continuing to brush twice a day and floss every day. Avoid consuming too many sugary and starchy foods, and drink water after each meal or snack to rinse your teeth. See Dr. Tejas Patel for regular checkups, and contact Austin Cosmetic Dentistry by Tejas Patel, DDS if you have any concerns about your teeth or gums.
Make an appointment below or feel free to give us a call if you’d like to talk teeth!