When people think of their oral health they often just think about what their smile looks like. Bad oral health gives you a poor smile that you just want to hide. Although this is a legitimate concern and is reason enough to take good care of your teeth, it isn’t the only concern.
A bad smile is a sign of poor oral health that can also be affecting other aspects of your health overall. There are many problems that come as a result of issues with your teeth that many people don’t realize. If you want to be healthy then your teeth need to be a priority. At the first sign of a problem, you should be heading right to the dentist.
In this article, we will go over several of the health problems you may encounter when you aren’t taking good care of your dental health.
1 - Heart disease
Infections anywhere in your body can turn very bad if left untreated. Where they pose a considerable problem is when one occurs in your mouth. An infected tooth or infected gums can fester allowing bacteria to grow out of control. Since the gums have a lot of capillaries close to the surface, the infection can get into the bloodstream very easily.
This is why when you have a cavity it should be treated right away by a dentist who will treat the infection and give you a filling. You can decide which kind to get, for example porcelain fillings vs silver.
If the infection is left untreated and bacteria gets into the blood it will cause a myriad of heart problems. It could even infect the heart itself and put you in serious risk. The lining of the heart gets infected and causes endocarditis. This is a serious disease that can be fatal if it is not caught in time.
There is also a risk of your arteries getting clogged due to the infection in the bloodstream. With this increase in clogged arteries there is an elevated risk of high blood pressure that can result in a stroke or heart attack.
2 - Diabetes
Diabetes is a disease that is difficult to manage for people even when they are in perfect health. When another illness is added on top of what is already difficult it can be a very dangerous situation.
Infections that begin in the mouth will travel through the blood which then makes diabetes much more difficult to manage. The primary reason is that insulin is not able to be absorbed when there is a blood infection. Blood sugar is then able to get out of control and can lead to diabetic shock. When there is a blood infection it is as if they are not taking their insulin at all which can be deadly for a diabetic.
It’s not uncommon for a diabetic to lose a toe since these infections block blood from getting to the extremities.
3 - Pregnancy issues
When you are pregnant it is very important to be mindful about any kind of infection. An infection left unchecked can spell bad news for the fetus and mother alike. Since the body goes through a lot of changes and resources get diverted to the fetus, dental health is difficult to manage. It is very common for pregnant women to lose a tooth or have other dental health issues.
This poses a real problem since tooth infections are able to spread so easily. An infection that spreads to other parts of the body and is not treated can lead to a premature birth of the baby. Even babies that make it to full term can be born underweight which can lead to other health problems as they grow.
It is really important to add a dental checkup to your list of doctor visits to do while pregnant.
4 - Depression
Dental health problems can also lead to mental health problems since there are many links between our mental well being and the state of our teeth. When teeth begin to decay it not only causes embarrassment that can lead to low self esteem. It also causes people to feel like they are not able to take care of their basic needs.
When this thought becomes pervasive it can lead to depression. Once depression sets in it can be difficult to manage even after the tooth decay is taken care of. The best bet is to take care of any dental issues right away before they become problems.