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Oral Health: How It Effects Your Overall Wellness

Do you ever neglect your oral health? You probably don’t mean to, but life gets so busy that before you know it you’ve skipped your regular dental checkup- maybe more than once. It’s easy to let other things get in the way, but oral health is really too important to ignore. In fact, the health of your mouth has a major impact on the overall health of your body.

Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is the world’s most common chronic inflammatory condition. Many people who have it aren’t even aware, which is one reason regular dental checkups are so important. Your dentist can help catch gum disease in its early stage, called gingivitis, to keep it from becoming a more serious, ongoing condition. When your mouth has ongoing inflammation, bacteria can enter your bloodstream and cause inflammation in other parts of your body. Periodontal disease has been linked to a host of conditions, including:

  • Cardiovascular disease: When the bacteria from your mouth travels to your heart, it can cause hardening of the arteries, called atherosclerosis. This leads to the development of plaque on the inner walls of the arteries, and can decrease or even block blood flow through the body, raising the risk of heart attack or stroke. Sometimes, bacteria can cause the inner lining of the heart to become infected or inflamed, in a condition called endocarditis.
  • Dementia: Did you know that bacteria from inflamed gums can enter the brain through the bloodstream or the nerve channels in the head? When that happens, it’s been reported to aid in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Respiratory infections: According to the Journal of Periodontology, gum disease can lead to lung infections, including pneumonia. This makes sense, if you consider what can happen when you breathe in bacteria from air moving over infected teeth and gums.
  • Diabetic complications: Diabetes and periodontal disease are interconnected. When your gums are inflamed, it’s harder to control blood sugar, and this can exacerbate the symptoms of diabetes. Moreover, research indicates that people who have diabetes are more prone to developing periodontal disease than those who don’t have diabetes, and typically have more severe gum disease.

It’s clear that taking care of your mouth is a big part to protecting the health of your body, and a big part of that is finding the right dental care. At West County Dental, we provide personalized family dental care using state of the art procedures. Adhering to a standard of excellence, we provide comprehensive treatment, from preventive care to restorative dentistry. When you make an appointment with West County Dental, you can be confident that our team of highly-trained dental professionals will provide you the care you need for a healthy smile. Call (314) 488-2921 or contact us through our website today!