Dr. Satish Pai, World Executives Digest | It’s high time for you to think twice if you plan on skipping your daily routine of brushing your teeth prior to bed. Our mouth is host to billions of bacteria, more than the number of people on the planet. It is not that all bacteria are harmful, but when bacteria have enough time to thrive in your mouth, it can lead to serious gum disease. Gum diseases can increase an already existing health issue or can invite another one. It doesn’t take long to figure out if a person has been paying less attention to his/her mouth. Here are 6 health conditions that are linked to poor oral hygiene:
- Heart Disease– Research shows that gum disease increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. Gum disease increases swelling all over the body which can lead to heart disease. Experts have found a link between oral inflammation and increased heart disease risk. People with gum disease are at twice the risk of suffering from a serious heart attack than people without gum disease. Your dentist should be aware of your family history or the cardiologist should recommend you get a thorough dental check up to curb the problem in the initial stage itself.
- Diabetes –It is a known fact that people with diabetes are prone to gum disease, but new studies reveal that gum disease can increase your chances of having diabetes as it affects glucose control in the blood. Bacteria which produce toxins affect the carbohydrate metabolism in individual cells which makes gum disease an infection. Therefore, it is a two-way link when it comes to diabetes and periodontal disease and it is a wakeup call for everyone to pay extra attention to oral hygiene.
- Pregnancy – Women who are pregnant with serious gum disease have the risk of developing gestational diabetes, premature delivery and low-birth weight baby. It is mandatory for them to go for regular check-ups with a dentist and keep themselves aware of the complications which periodontal disease can lead to during pregnancy. Premature babies have developmental complications, asthma, ear infection and behavioural difficulties. Pregnant women should have oral health care as they are not just responsible for themselves but also for their babies.
- Lung Infection –People with periodontal disease have more bacteria breeding in their mouth which is why they are more likely to inhale germs which can lead to lung infections such as pneumonia. People who suffer from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease(COPD) should pay more attention because lung disease can make it even worse.
- Osteoporosis–Brittle bones can be linked with periodontal bone loss and tooth loss. It is seen that drugs used to cure osteoporosis carry the risk of damaging the bones and jaws. Bone loss is the direct result of periodontal disease. The bacteria spreads beyond the gum line and keeps spreading until it affects the bones in other parts of the body making them brittle and prone to breaking.
It is essential to prioritize oral health by brushing at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. It is important to floss and maintain a healthy diet. It is also important to visit your dentist for a routine check-up and he/she may recommend you to an orthodontist if you need orthodontic treatment. It is an investment to take care of your oral health because everything in your body is connected. Do not hesitate to make an appointment with your dentist to prevent several health complications.
Dr. Satish Pai – an Ivy League trained dentist and a faculty at Columbia University, believes that a perfect smile not only makes a person look great but feel great while boosting confidence. As the founder of Putnam Orthodontics, he is dedicated to not only creating perfect smiles for his patients but also educating people with his engaging articles about all things related to a perfect smile and oral health. Spending time with his family always brings a smile on his face. In his free time, you can find him golfing, doing yoga or surfing.