There are many links between the mouth and the rest of the body that we often take for granted. In essence, the fact that both are part of the same biological system and that their health is interlinked is basically unavoidable. But how exactly does oral health play a role in determining and influencing the health of the body?
How Bad Oral Health Can Lead to Poor General Health
Well, we know that the mouth plays an integral role in influencing the nutrients that end up powering our body, and that it’s also one of the main places where we can spot certain diseases before they appear in the rest of the body. For example, small lesions on the mouth can be indicative of HIV, while pale and bleeding gums can be a sign of certain blood disorders.
Pertaining to the causes of many oral diseases, it can be said that the bacteria from the mouth can cause severe infections in other parts of the body as well. This is perhaps the first big clue when it comes to answering the question, “why is general health affected by oral health.” Bacteria can enter the bloodstream and wreak a lot of havoc on your body as a whole.
It usually happens when the immune system has been impaired or compromised by the bacteria or by certain medical treatments. The side effects involved can be severe, and the problem also goes the other way, implying that oral health can be affected through the presence of systemic conditions and their treatments.
Periodontal disease has also been linked to many risk factors that could lead to the development of various systemic conditions. In the case of periodontal disease and some other oral diseases, a direct link has been found to their risk factors and the risk factors associated with heart disease and cancer. At the same time, studying these risk factors at a genetic level has revealed other links, even though researchers still don’t know exactly how oral health might (or might not) actually influence the onset of those diseases.
As we will see in the following, even plaque can be a source of poor general health, if not treated properly. In some cases, together with other oral disorders, it can cause existing diseases in the rest of the body to be much harder to manage.
Diseases That Are Harder to Control Because of Poor Oral Health
As mentioned, there are some diseases that can be much harder to handle in the presence of poor oral health. These can include diabetes, cardiovascular disease and even pregnancy related problems.
The risk of preterm birth can be increased due to the presence of gum disease, and giving birth to a low weight baby is not out of the question. At the same time, plaque and inflammation can affect the arteries. Gum disease can also play a major role here, as oral inflammation often leads to the development of atherosclerotic plaques in the patient’s arteries.
Finally, regarding diabetes, the presence of chronic gum disease, which is something you should seek treatment for from Willow Creek Way dentists, is not just something you’re more likely to get, but gum disease itself can also lead to higher blood sugar spikes and further complications.