8 Health Problems Caused by Poor Oral Health

by Dental-Pedia
Poor dental health can affect your overall health


Poor dental health can affect your overall health

Until recently, most people have assumed that oral health and overall health are separate. But your mouth, teeth, and gums are inextricable parts of your body, and poor oral health can cause severe long-term medical health conditions. Since the mouth is the primary entryway into the body, bacteria can enter the bloodstream through the mouth, leading to numerous health conditions, such as cardiovascular problems, diabetes, dementia, pregnancy complications, and more. 


To lead a healthy life, you must maintain optimal oral hygiene. You must brush and floss your teeth regularly, visit the dentist for regular teeth cleaning and dental checkups, and use biocompatible dental implants in your body. Until recently, the dental community has relied on titanium implants for patients with missing teeth. But recent evidence shows that ceramic implants are better alternatives because they’re safer and minimize the risk of bacterial infections and peri-implantitis

Below, we highlight how poor oral health can contribute to various general health conditions.  

Cardiovascular problems caused by poor oral hygiene and health

1. Cardiovascular Problems 

Poor oral hygiene and health lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular problems, such as heart disease. If you have gingivitis, periodontitis, or peri-implantitis, the bacteria responsible for these gum infections can enter your bloodstream, leading to the formation of plaque within arteries, which in turn can lead to numerous cardiovascular problems.Peri-implantitis occurs because of stubborn plaque buildup on dentures and titanium implants. That’s why it’s crucial to observe optimal oral hygiene and clean your prosthetics thoroughly, as instructed by your dental hygienist or oral surgeon. You must also go for regular dental checkups, so the dentist can identify the signs of inflammation at an early stage, increasing the chance of a cure. 

If peri-implantitis progresses (as it usually does), you eventually lose the implant and experience bone loss. 

The risk of peri-implantitis may be higher for some individuals because of genetic predisposition. However, it can also arise due to behavioral factors, such as nicotine consumption, and underlying health concerns, such as diabetes. To put it simply, you may experience peri-implantitis for a wide range of factors, such as improper oral hygiene, smoking, genetic predisposition, diabetes, cardiovascular problems, and much more. 


Poor oral health can drastically affect your respiratory health.

2. Respiratory Problems 

Poor oral health can drastically affect your respiratory health. The harmful bacteria in your mouth and teeth can be breathed into the lungs, or they can travel to the lungs via your respiratory system and bloodstream. The bacteria can damage and attach to your respiratory organs and lungs, leading to acute bronchitis, pneumonia, or respiratory infections. 

Poor dental care during pregnancy can cause premature birth

3. Pregnancy Problems

Pregnant women have a higher risk of oral health infections and periodontitis because of hormonal changes in the body. Without proper oral hygiene, the harmful bacteria in the mouth and oral cavities can increase the risk of pregnancy complications. Periodontitis, for example, leads to an increased risk of low birth weight in infants and even premature birth, endangering the mother and the unborn baby. 

Poor oral hygiene leads to an increased risk of sexual health problems, especially for men

4. Sexual Health Problems 

Poor oral hygiene leads to an increased risk of sexual health problems, especially for men. Periodontitis leads to the spread of harmful bacteria into the bloodstream, leading to the inflammation of blood vessels. Men need healthy blood flow into the genitals to experience and maintain erections, but harmful bacteria can block blood flow to the penis, leading to erectile dysfunction. 

Poor oral health and oral infections can negatively affect kidney health

5. Kidney Problems 

Both periodontitis and kidney diseases have a causal effect with each other, primarily because of an imbalance within the body’s oxygen-producing free radicals and the antioxidant cells. In a recent study, patients with chronic kidney disease experienced a further 3% reduction in kidney function because of an increase in gum inflammation, and a 10% reduction in kidney function lead to a 25% increase in periodontal inflammation. This research clearly highlights the delicate link between renal health and oral health.. 

6. Memory Problems  

Poor oral health and gum infections can lead to the presence of harmful bacteria in the bloodstream, which, in turn, leads to a compromised immune system. The bacteria from the mouth can enter the bloodstream and reach the nerve channels, thereby increasing the risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other memory and cognitive problems. 

7. Diabetes Problems 

Diabetes and periodontitis impact each other — diabetes increases the risk of periodontitis and vice versa. Gum disease can dramatically affect your blood sugar levels, thus worsening the symptoms of diabetes. That’s why diabetics must maintain optimal oral hygiene and use biocompatible teeth replacement options, such as zirconia implants, to minimize the risk of further complications. 

8. Rheumatoid Arthritis 

Individuals with gum disease or periodontitis are 4x more likely to suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, a form of arthritis that causes pain, stiffness, and loss of joint functions because of a compromised immune system. The oral bacteria from periodontal disease leads to inflammation throughout the body, which increases the risk of the immune system damaging the body’s own tissues, including joints. 


Tips to Maintain Optimal Oral Health 

As the aforementioned points highlight, oral health is inextricably linked to general health, and poor oral hygiene can dramatically increase the risk of general health conditions. If you want to maintain optimal oral health for a lifetime, you must maintain good oral hygiene. But what can you do, specifically, to maintain optimal dental health and general wellness? 

The following are some tips to maintain optimal oral health: 

  • Brush your teeth and gums for at least two minutes daily. 
  • Floss at least once or twice daily to remove small food particles stuck between your teeth. 
  • Rinse your mouth using an antibacterial mouthwash. 
  • Use a dentist-approved toothpaste and mouthwash. 
  •  Don’t smoke cigarettes or consume tobacco in any form. 
  • Minimize your consumption of sugary drinks and foods. 
  • Maintain a balanced and nutritious diet with lots of vegetables and fruits.


     


  • Visit the dentist every six months for routine cleanings and dental checkups. 
  • Look for dentists committed to biological dentistry, i.e., using biocompatible products. 
Most of the aforementioned points are fairly self-explanatory, but it’s worth delving a little longer on the final point — biological dentistry. In recent years, there has been a shift in the dental community, with more and more dental professionals committed to “biological dentistry,” which basically means using biocompatible components, such as zirconia, for dental treatments. 
Until recently, dentists only used metallic components and alloys for numerous dental treatments, from dental fillings to dental implants. However, metallic components, such as silver alloys and titanium, have a relatively high risk of bacterial infections and long-term complications. In recent years, it has become increasingly clear that biocompatible alternatives, such as zirconia, minimize the risk of bacterial infections. 
As such, if you’re missing a few teeth, you should look for dentists providing biocompatible zirconia implants instead of titanium implants. Titanium has been used for dental implants for several decades, but they also lead to a high risk of titanium allergies and peri-implantitis, i.e., bacterial infections around the implant. 
But ceramic implants are hypoallergenic and minimize the risk of bacterial infections, making them safer in the long run for your oral health and overall wellbeing. If you want to maintain general wellness, you must follow optimal oral hygiene standards, visit the dental regularly, and insist upon the use of biocompatible dental products and materials for your treatment. 


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