At Dr. Jay Ajmo’s Palm Beach Gardens office, we are continually striving to educate and inform our patients that regular dental care is crucial in maintaining your overall health and
necessary in the prevention of tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. Research now links cardiovascular disease, specific types of cancer and respiratory disease to periodontal (gum) disease. At PGA Dentistry, we found a recent article from Mayo Clinic and would like to share it with you-
Did you know that your oral health can offer clues about your overall health- or that problems in your mouth can affect the rest of your body? Understand the intimate connection between oral health and overall health and what you can do to protect yourself.
Like many areas of the body, your mouth is teeming with bacteria- most of the harmless. Normally the body’s natural defenses and good oral health care, such as daily brushing and flossing, can keep these bacteria under control. However, without proper oral hygiene, bacteria can reach levels that might lead to oral infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease.
In addition, certain medications- such as decongestants, antihistamines, painkillers, and diuretics- can reduce saliva flow. Saliva washes away food and neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in the mouth, helping to protect you from microbial invasion or overgrowth that might lead to disease.
Studies also suggest that oral bacteria and the inflammation associated with periodontitis- a severe form of gum disease- might play a role in some diseases. In addition, certain diseases, such as diabetes and HIV/AIDS, can lower the body’s resistance to infection, making oral health problems more severe.
Your oral health might after, be affected by, or contribute to various diseases and condition, including:
Endocarditis- Endocarditis is an infection of the inner lining of your heart (endocardium). Endocarditis typically occurs when bacteria or other germs from another part of your body, such as your mouth, spread through your bloodstream and attach to damaged areas in your heart.
Cardiovascular disease- Some research suggests that heart disease, clogged arteries, and stroke might be linked to the inflammation and infections that oral bacteria can cause.
Pregnancy and birth- Periodontitis has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight.
Diabetes- Diabetes reduces the body’s resistance to infection –putting the gums at risk. Gum disease appears to be more frequent and severe among people who have diabetes. Research shows that people who have gum disease have a harder time controlling their blood sugar levels.
HIV/AIDS- Oral problems, such as painful mucosal lesions, are common in people who have HIV/AIDS.
Osteoporosis- Osteoporosis- which causes bones to become weak and brittle- might be linked with periodontal bone loss and tooth loss.
Alzheimer’s disease- Tooth loss before age 35 might be a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.
Other conditions that might be linked to oral health include Sjogren’s syndrome- an immune system disorder that causes dry mouth- and eating disorders.
Because of these potential links, be sure to tell your dentist if you’re taking any medications or have had any changes in your overall or oral health- especially if you’ve had any recent illnesses or you have a chronic condition, such as diabetes.
At PGA Dentistry, to protect your oral health, we recommend you practice good oral hygiene every day. For example: brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss daily, eat a healthy diet and limit between-meal snacks, replace your toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if bristles are frayed and schedule regular dental checkups with Dr. Jay Ajmo. Also, contact PGA Dentistry in Palm Beach Gardens, FL as soon as an oral health problem arises. Remember, taking care of your oral health is an investment in your overall health. (Article courtesy of Mayo Clinic Staff and References from the ADA)