Did you know that if you don’t take care of your mouth, you are actually letting your whole body down? Neglecting your oral health may lead to some detrimental health problems. According to researchers through the Surgeon General’s Report on Oral Health, over the past couple of years they have found possible connections between gum problems and heart disease, bacterial pneumonia, stroke, and even troubled pregnancies.

Heart Disease and Gum Disease:
Gum disease is a bacterial infection that can affect conditions outside your mouth. Studies have shown a correlation between gum disease and heart disease. The bacteria that is causing disease in your gums can enter your bloodstream and attach to the fatty deposits in your heart blood vessels.

Gum Disease and Diabetes:
Individuals with diabetes are more likely to have periodontal disease than individuals without diabetes, more often so because individuals with diabetes are more susceptible to contracting infections. Research shows that periodontal disease makes it more difficult for individuals who have diabetes to control their blood sugar because severe periodontal disease can increase blood sugar levels.

These are some lifestyle factors that can contribute to oral health:

  • Sugar consumption – The amount of sugar you consume contributes largely to tooth decay and gum problems. When sucrose from sugar mixes with bacteria in your mouth it forms lactic acid. This lactic acid is what eats away at your tooth causing decay.
  • Smoking – Smoking tobacco products can greatly enhance your chances of periodontal disease. Smoking affects the normal function of gum tissue, making you more susceptible to infection and impairs blood flow, affecting the healing of diseased tissue.
  • Alcohol – Alcohol consumption results in a dehydrated mouth. Dry mouth leads to tooth decay because saliva helps to wash away bacteria. Alcohol also contains a lot of sugar, which as mentioned above forms lactic acid that erodes teeth.

In order to maintain good oral health, you should see your dentist regularly. Train yourself to practice good dental hygiene at home by carefully brushing twice a day and flossing once a day in order to prevent plaque from building up and causing dental problems.

Make an appointment today with Dr. Driscoll or Dr. Tolu for a checkup and cleaning to ensure your teeth and gums are as healthy as possible.