Getting a dental checkup is one of the essential steps in your oral care routine. But you might wonder what you can expect during a checkup and cleaning. That way, you can make a more informed decision for your health. Keep reading to learn more about what the procedure involves.The dental hygienist and dentist will…
What Is the Oral Systemic Link?
The oral systemic link is the relationship between your oral health and how it affects the rest of your body. Studies show that poor oral health causes conditions like heart disease and diabetes. However, they are still ongoing to find a direct cause of oral systemic health. Keep reading to find out more about the impact of mouth health on the body.
Diseases that have a direct link to oral health
Having a complete set of clean and strong teeth allows people to digest food properly and speak clearly. Good oral health gives fresh breath and a good facial structure. Not only that, but it seems good oral health prevents some chronic diseases from forming. Most cases of diabetes, Crohn’s disease, and cancer are found after a dental checkup because their symptoms usually start in the mouth.
What is the oral systemic link’s clinical relevance?
Medical and dental professionals have evidence connecting oral health and general health. They have done numerous studies to prove the link between the two. This gives importance to good oral hygiene and immediate treatment of periodontal diseases. Below are some diseases with a strong oral connection to oral health.
Oral diseases increase the risk of bacterial infections going into the bloodstream. The bacteria get pumped into the heart spreading all over the body via the bloodstream. Tooth loss can also be a sign of coronary heart disease. Oral infection and inflammation can travel into the heart through the blood. Treating gum disease does not treat existing heart conditions, but prevention can reduce the risk.
Uncontrolled blood sugar levels increase the chances of developing periodontal diseases. Diabetes weakens the body’s white blood cells and the body’s defenses against bacterial infections. These two diseases have shown a direct effect on each other. Diabetes makes gum disease worse and vice versa, making it harder to control blood sugar levels.
The American Academy of Periodontology states that gum disease ups the risk of developing some cancers. This includes pancreatic, kidney, and other blood-related cancers. Poor oral health also makes the gums and mouth susceptible to oral viruses leading to mouth and throat cancer. A July 2020 study from Harvard also linked the microbes between gums and teeth to stomach and esophagus cancer.
Bacteria in the mouth that cause dental diseases can travel to the lungs. This, in turn, may lead to respiratory diseases such as pneumonia. Gum disease can also worsen lung inflammation. This could happen, especially if a patient has COPD and asthma.
In this medical condition, the arteries narrow. Deposits of cholesterol, along with cholesterol products, stick to the blood vessel walls. This is the main cause of most cerebrovascular and coronary heart ailments. Studies show that people with gum disease and poor oral care practices can suffer from gum inflammation and bacteremia.
Periodontitis involves gum swelling and infection. Inflammation can trigger some cytokines that make the blood vessels more vulnerable to damage. Correcting gum disease can help end these conditions. Treating periodontitis can improve a person’s health. It can even prevent sickness and death.
Preterm birth and pregnancy complications
A pregnant woman experiences significant physical and physiological changes. One of the most evident events is morning sickness. It connects oral health with the physical health of pregnant women. Acid reflux and secretions from the stomach that leave through the oral cavity can lead to xerostomia and enamel erosion. These events can also loosen teeth and worsen cavities. The oral infection in pregnant women can trigger an inflammatory response in the body, which may result in preterm birth.
Osteoporosis causes low bone density and bone loss, which results in jawbone loss. Periodontal disease can cause poor oral health. Over time, these oral issues can lead to serious conditions like chronic kidney disease. These problems can also result in systemic inflammation and protein wasting. Atherosclerotic lesions can contribute to the death of patients with kidney disease.
Good dental practices to prevent diseases
Research is still ongoing to further explain what the oral systemic link is and how it affects health. A growing number of studies show a significant correlation between the two. To promote better health, it is vital to practice good oral hygiene. Follow the recommendations of your dental professionals. Brush your teeth twice a day and get an oral prophylaxis every six months. You should go to the dentist if you have signs of gum bleeding and cavities.
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