Oral health includes the teeth, gums, and the oral-facial system. These work together to allow us to smile, speak, and chew. Unfortunately, some common diseases negatively impact oral health. The Mayo Clinic reports the following conditions directly affect the mouth and teeth:
As we mentioned in a previous post, the cardiovascular system directly correlates to dental health. For example, clogged arteries and stroke may relate to inflammation and infections that oral bacteria can cause.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), COVID-19 can exacerbate oral conditions. Scientists point to those with autoimmune aetiology, linked to compromised immune systems or long‐term pharmacotherapy. Another by-product of the pandemic is fear, which kept many from making and/or keeping routine dental appointments during lockdowns.
Alzheimer’s patients often experience worsening oral health as the disease progresses. This is due, in part, to patient’s neglect of regular dental hygiene.
As we covered in another blog entry, diabetes compromises the body’s resistance to infection. Thus, it puts gums at risk. Gum disease is seemingly more frequent and severe among people who have diabetes. What’s more, research shows that people with gum disease struggle to control blood sugar levels. Regular periodontal care can improve diabetes control.
An infection of the inner lining of the heart chambers or valves. This typically occurs when bacteria or other germs from another part of the body (such as the mouth) spreads through the bloodstream and attaches to certain areas of the heart.
People who are HIV+ or have AIDS often struggle with oral problems, such as painful mucosal lesions.
A form of vasculitis, or blood vessel inflammation, this diseases primarily affects children. The inflammation of the blood vessels causes symptoms such as swelling of the hands and feet, redness in the whites of the eyes, swelling and redness of the mouth and lips, and a diffuse rash on the skin.
This bone-weakening disease is linked with periodontal bone loss and tooth loss. Also, certain drugs used to treat osteoporosis may damage the bones of the jaw.
Pregnancy and Birth Complications
Periodontitis produces certain bacteria in the mouth which can infiltrate the lungs, causing pneumonia and other respiratory diseases.
To protect your oral health, take these steps:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled brush using fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss daily.
- Use mouthwash to remove food particles left after brushing and flossing.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Limit the intake of food with added sugars.
- Replace your toothbrush every three months or sooner if bristles splay or become worn.
- Schedule (and keep) regular dental checkups and cleanings.
- Stop smoking or chewing tobacco (or never start).
About Dr. Fred Wong of Blue Ocean Dentistry in Glendora, California
Dr. Fred Wong and the staff at Blue Ocean Dentistry use the latest available dental treatments, equipment, and materials – all of which make a marked difference in our patients’ experiences. We are committed to helping our patients achieve optimal dental health. We creatively combine dental science and artistry — which can literally redesign your smile. Since even a subtle change in your smile will help you to project self-confidence and high self-esteem, we love helping you feel good about yourself. We deliver the finest dental care at the most reasonable cost and accept most dental insurance plans as well as CareCredit. For more about the dental treatment plans we offer or to schedule an appointment, call today (626) 852-6999.