Although you may believe, because you go to the dentist for one and the doctors for the other, that dental health and your overall wellness are completely separate, this is simply not the case. Not only can dental health reflect your overall health, but it can also cause complications within the rest of your body.
Early Warning Signs
If you show signs of gum disease such as swollen or bleeding gums, this could be one of the first indicators of diabetes. Low blood glucose levels can cause a dryer mouth and more glucose in your saliva. By having a dry mouth, or by having too much glucose in your saliva, you are effectively washing your mouth with sugar and leaving it without valuable protection.
People with diabetes are more prone to infection which can cause gum disease. These factors mean that diabetes generally coincides with poor dental health and can be an indicator of the condition.
Additionally, poor dental health may indicate osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s and vitamin deficiencies. For instance, Alzheimer's patients will often brush their teeth less often than other people, and their dental care routines will start to slip, which can be an indication of their memory deteriorating.
In terms of vitamin deficiencies, your mouth will not be so resistant to the effects of plaque and temporarily swollen gums will not heal as fast. This may show through bleeding gums or an increased level of tooth decay.
Gum disease - characterised by swollen or bleeding gums, gum erosion or infection - can increase your risk of contracting numerous illnesses such as heart disease and Alzheimer’s, and can even increase your risk of having a stroke. In fact, heart disease is twice as prevalent in those with gum disease than those without. Whilst it is difficult to suggest whether the gum disease or the illness comes first, many of these diseases are caused by the increased risk of infection that gum disease causes. The infection, inflammatory molecules and bacteria can then spread to the rest of your body and weaken your immune system by entering your bloodstream.
How can I prevent this?
However, there are many ways to prevent this. These include maintaining a good oral health routine by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing regularly. You should also visit your dentist on an annual or bi-annual basis as this will ensure that problems are caught early enough that they can be treated with minimum invasion. If you are looking for an emergency or family Dentist in Woden, Acacia Dental Clinic is a family-run practise with your care at the heart of their services, enabling you to receive both emergency and regular care, and restore your smile to its full potential.
Dental care affects the rest of your body, and therefore it is important to care for your teeth and attend the dentist regularly. By doing so, not only will you be able to reduce your chance of contracting life-threatening illnesses, but you will also find potential health difficulties early enough for successful treatment.