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How Dental Problems Affect Your Overall Health

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Oral health is often given less priority when it comes to family health, but did you know that oral health could be related to your overall health? That visit to your family dentistry could be more important than you imagined.

Though inconclusive, recent scientific studies point to closer links between your dental health and other medical conditions.

Oral bacteria and Heart Disease

In case of severe tooth and gum disease, oral bacteria living in your mouth may find their way into your bloodstream. If your immune system is weakened by cancer or HIV for example, this can lead to an infection in another part of your body resulting in a condition known as infective endocarditis.

This is a condition where oral bacteria find their way into your bloodstream and eventually stick to heart valves, increasing your risk of heart attack and stroke.

Oral bacteria due to gingivitis may also cause inflammation in the arteries, encouraging the build-up of plaque in this area, further heightening your risk of heart attack and stroke.

Gum disease and Poorly-controlled Diabetes

Gum disease may make diabetes hard to control by causing insulin resistance, making it difficult to control your blood sugar.

Oral Bacteria and Pre-Term Births

Oral bacteria produce toxins which find their way through the mother's bloodstream and into the baby, interfering with his growth and development. They also produce chemical substances that trigger premature labor.

Tooth Abscess and the Brain

A tooth abscess is the result of a severely decayed tooth. If left untreated, Infection from teeth can spread to the brain through the blood vessels causing brain abscess. In rare cases, this can lead to a coma. A tooth abscess can also cause sinus infection as well as infection in the face and jaw in a condition called Ludwig's Angina.

Gum Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Treating periodontal or gum disease has been found to reduce pain related to rheumatoid arthritis.

Periodontal Disease and Pneumonia

Periodontal disease may worsen pneumonia, due to oral bacteria finding their way into the lungs.

So what can you do about oral bacteria? For one, get your cavities filled. In case of a more serious tooth decay problem, a root canal will help clear bacteria out of an infected tooth and seal the area from further irritation. 

Dentists have established a link between dental health and a number of medical conditions such as diabetes, heart attack and stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, pre-term birth and pneumonia. In case of a dental problem, do not delay to visit your family dentistry for proper treatment as neglecting that toothache could have serious consequences.