World Health Day: How Dental Health Affects Overall Health

This year, World Health Day falls on April 7. To celebrate, the team at Luck Family Dental has put together this blog, where we’ll discuss just a few of the ways that your dental health can affect your overall health.

While the health of your mouth is often thought of as “separate” from the rest of the body, this is far from the truth. An unhealthy mouth can mean a higher risk of developing medical conditions elsewhere in your body, and vice versa. So read on, and learn about just 3 of the ways that your dental health can affect your overall health.

1. High Levels Of Oral Bacteria Can Cause Respiratory Infections

This may seem surprising, at first, but it makes a lot of sense when you think about it. When you’re breathing, you’re constantly taking in air from your surroundings, and it has to go through your mouth and nose to reach your lungs.

That means that oral bacteria can easily be transferred from your mouth into your lungs, and cause respiratory illnesses and infections. Studies have shown that oral bacteria can cause pneumonia when inhaled. Respiratory pathogens can easily colonize the mouth and be inhaled, causing a number of different respiratory problems. So clean those teeth and gums, and you can avoid respiratory illnesses.

2. Gum Disease Can Lead To A Higher Risk Of Heart Attack And Stroke

This is one of the most serious complications of poor oral health. If you have gum disease, the bacteria in your mouth can be easily transferred through the tiny capillaries in your gums, and reach your heart. In rare cases, this can cause “endocarditis,” which is an infection of the heart tissue that can be serious and life-threatening.

Even in cases where endocarditis does not occur, the presence of oral bacteria in your bloodstream prompts an inflammatory response. This inflammation can exacerbate the effects of issues like excess plaque in your veins and arteries, and atherosclerosis. In turn, this raises your risk of a heart attack or stroke by as much as 20%.

3. Poor Oral Hygiene Can Lead To Diabetes Complications

If you have diabetes, the inflammation of your gums caused by periodontal disease may make it harder for you to control your blood sugar, and it can make your other diabetes symptoms worse.

Not only that, but diabetes also has a serious effect on your mouth. The high levels of blood sugar, combined with lower saliva production can make you more prone to gum disease, and other oral health conditions like thrush, which is caused by a fungal infection.

If you have diabetes, you must make sure that you take every possible precaution to avoid gum disease, control your blood sugar, and keep your mouth and body healthy. We recommend scheduling a consultation with Dr. Leah R. Luck to learn more about the best ways to protect your mouth.

Make Your Oral Health A Priority This Year!

If you’re overdue for a dental appointment and checkup, don’t wait. Your oral health is important for all of the above reasons and more. If you are suffering from issues like tooth decay and gum disease, your entire body can be affected.

Need a new dentist in Fort Mill? Contact Luck Family Dental for an appointment today at (803) 548-6370, or come by our office at 342 Patricia Lane, Suite 101, Fort Mill, SC 29708. Dr. Luck is always taking new patients, and we would be happy to meet you, so come in today.

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