The phobia keeping people from regular dental care puts their lives at risk. That’s correct! Poor dental health can lead to diseases of the mouth and problems throughout your body. Did you know that your oral health offers clues about your overall health – or that problems in your mouth can affect the rest of your body?
Your general physician should check your teeth during any wellness exam to detect signs of poor care and lecture you on what those signs reveal.
Of course, there are many reasons to seek regular oral treatment. You want to ensure your best cosmetic appearance and avoid the pain accompanying decaying teeth.
But, you must also seek treatment to avoid tooth loss, teeth displacement, and periodontal diseases.
Major consequences of poor dental care
1. Cardiovascular problems
Poor oral health has an indirect impact on your heart health. Research shows oral bacteria can enter the bloodstream where it builds plaque along the inner artery walls, reducing blood flow, and increasing the incidence of heart attack or stroke.
Harvard Medical School agrees, “The bacteria that infect the gums and cause gingivitis and periodontitis also travel to blood vessels elsewhere in the body where they cause blood vessel inflammation and damage; tiny blood clots, heart attack and stroke may follow”. Their research has found evidence “of oral bacteria in atherosclerotic blood vessel far from the mouth”.
There is also a correlation between poor oral care, lack of exercise, smoking, and other poor health practices.
2. Endocarditis risks
Your endocardium lines the inside of your heart, its valves and chambers. Endocarditis is a swelling of the endocardium from inflammation caused by bacteria and fungi you have ingested.
Left to multiply, those microbes will irritate the endocardium and may fatally damage the heart and/or heart valves.
A 2009 study reported in JADA (Journal of the American Dental Association), found “oral hygiene and gingival disease indexes were associated significantly with IE-related [Infective Endocarditis] bacteremia after toothbrushing”.
Subjects with higher than normal plaque accumulations were at almost five times higher risk of developing the bacterium. And, those bleeding after brushing were almost eight times more likely to transmit the bacterium.
3. Respiratory issues
The gum disease related to poor oral care puts you at risk of COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and pneumonia.
Research in Critical Care (2009) confirmed, “Potential respiratory pathogens include Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter species and enteric species, all of which can be seen in dental plaque and oral mucosa colonizations; strains of these bacteria have been genetically identical in dental plaque and bronchoscopic cultures from those who have developed respiratory diseases, specifically VAP” (Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia).
4. Cancer risks
A study in Journal of Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery (2012) boldly asserts, “The results indicate that periodontal diseases ensuing from inadequate and infrequent tooth brushing as indicated by the poor oral condition of the mouth and missing teeth may be independent causes of cancers of the mouth and esophagus”.
It’s also clear that poor oral conditions make people vulnerable to the transference of HPV (Human Papillomavirus), the cause of several cancers of the gums, tongue and…