Dental Health and Wellness
When most people think about dental health issues, they tend to focus on the effects these issues have their mouth. While these issues, such as cavities, tooth damage, and gum disease, can have a significant impact on the health of your mouth and the appearance of your smile, they can also have a serious impact on your overall wellness as well. Sunnyside Dentistry is here to help ensure your dental health and your overall health as well.
When you have gum disease, there is an overabundance of bacteria in your mouth. If you breathe through your mouth, the air you inhale passes over your intraoral tissues, where all of these bacteria are living. Some of the bacteria can become dislodged and be inhaled with the air right into your lungs.
Your lungs are a very warm, very moist environment, perfect for fostering bacterial growth. These bacteria can lead to issues such as pneumonia. They can also worsen existing respiratory issues such as COPD and asthma. A good oral hygiene routine limits bacteria in your mouth, which can help to keep your lungs healthy.
As gum disease advances, bacteria fall below the gum line and can even enter into the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, the bacteria begin to travel throughout your body, causing inflammation as they go. This inflammation causes the arteries to swell, which restricts blood flow. The arteries can become clogged, a condition known as atherosclerosis. The inner lining of the heart can also become infected, which is a very dangerous situation.
Gum disease can increase your risk of developing diabetes. If you already have diabetes, your risk for developing gum disease is higher. When you have gum disease, your blood sugar levels can increase. If you have diabetes, sugar levels can be higher in your saliva. This provides bacteria in your mouth with more food, which helps them to multiply. If your diabetes is not well managed, your blood sugar can be more difficult to control. If you have both diabetes and gum disease, your blood sugar levels can become dangerously high, which can then lead to serious, dangerous, complications.
Dental Health and Pregnancy
When you are pregnant, your hormones change drastically. These hormonal changes affect how your gums react to plaque and bacteria, causing irritation and swelling. Many pregnant women develop what is known as pregnancy gingivitis. It is when this condition goes untreated that pregnancy gingivitis can develop into more advanced stages. Now, more than ever, practicing good oral hygiene habits, including regular cleanings and exams, is essential. Gum disease not only affects your health but the health of your unborn child as well. Pregnant women who develop gum disease are at an increased risk of suffering pregnancy-related complications. These include issues such as pre-term birth, birth before 37 weeks, and low birth weight. Low birth weight can cause serious issues for your newborn, such as difficulty staying warm, low blood-oxygen levels, and an increased risk for developing infections.
Your dental health is about more than just the health of your mouth. Maintaining a healthy mouth is also important for maintaining your overall wellness. For more information, and to schedule your appointment, call Sunnyside Dentistry at (503) 451-5104 today.