How Oral Health Affects Overall Health
Did you know that there’s a strong link between oral health and the general health of your body? If you didn’t, you’re not alone. Most people assume that the primary purpose of oral care is preserving their natural teeth. While good oral hygiene and routine dental care do protect your teeth and gums, these healthcare practices also protect the rest of your body.
The Connection Between Oral Health and General Health
There is a strong connection between your oral health and your general health. The primary connection between oral health and general health is related to periodontal disease.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease (also called gum disease) is a bacterial infection of the gums. Periodontal disease most commonly develops as a result of poor oral hygiene where plaque and tartar are allowed to accumulate on the surfaces of the teeth. This then pushes the gums away from the teeth, creating pockets where harmful bacteria can thrive. This leads to the subsequent bacterial infection of the gum tissues.
Yes, periodontal disease has local symptoms such as gum recession, bleeding gums, swollen gums, red gums, painful gums, tooth sensitivity, pus in the gums, loose teeth, bone degeneration, and eventual tooth loss.
Left unaddressed, periodontal disease can also affect the health of the rest of a person’s body. Bacteria from periodontal disease can enter the bloodstream and travel throughout the body. This leads to generalized inflammation all around the body and can even cause sepsis.
Gum disease has also been connected to several very serious systemic health problems such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, dementia, certain types of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, reproductive problems, and more. Additionally, periodontal disease can increase a person’s risk of developing a variety of respiratory infections.
Preventive Dental Care in Kenmore for a Healthy Mouth and Body
One of the best ways to safeguard your general health from poor oral health is to achieve and maintain good oral health with professional preventive dental care used in conjunction with at-home oral hygiene. At Kenmore Smiles Family Dentistry, we help our patients stay healthy with patient education routine dental examinations, oral cancer screenings, prophylactic cleanings, professional fluoride treatments, sealants, and a comprehensive menu of restorative dentistry treatments in addition to periodontal disease treatment.