Blog Post

Posted on 12/07/2015

Oral Health & Your Overall Health

How Your Oral Health Can Affect your Overall Health

The doctors and staff at Doleski & Wolford Orthodontics are proud to offer exceptional orthodontic care to children, teens and adults. Whether you are searching for an orthodontist in the Erie & Cory, PA for your child or want to find out if Invisalign is right for you, we can meet all your family's orthodontic needs!

Good oral health is important whether you're wearing braces or not. It is very important to see your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings and to practice good oral hygiene to keep your smile healthy. 

Neglecting your teeth and gums can do more than cause cavities and gum disease as studies suggest your overall health may be put in jeopardy as well. Gum disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that is caused by harmful bacteria that is found in plaque below the gum line. Gum disease can cause swollen gums, irritation and bleeding. When gum disease is in its most serious stage called periodontitis, the gums recede and the gum tissues & bone around the teeth can become damaged to lead to tooth loss.

Gum Disease Can Lead to Other Serious Health Problems

Researchers have found that people with severe gum disease often suffer from other ailments including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease. While researchers are not certain why people with severe gum disease are more prone to developing these health issues, there is one theory most agree with. 

It is thought that advanced cases of gum disease can turn the mouth into a bacterial gateway to allow bacteria to enter the bloodstream and access other parts of the body. For instance, one study conducted found that bacteria present in affected gums can travel to the brain to cause deterioration of brain tissue that is reflective of Alzheimer's disease.


Gum Inflammation Can Complicate Diabetes

Diabetics who have untreated gum inflammation can find it much more difficult to keep blood sugar levels under control to make the symptoms of diabetes worse. And diabetes and gum disease are linked both ways as people suffering from diabetes are more apt to develop gum disease than are non-diabetics. This makes good oral health a top priority among people with diabetes. 

Unborn Children Can Also Be Affected by Poor Oral Health

There have been many studies conducted which link gum disease to pre-term or low birth-weight babies. An expecting mother with severe gum disease risks having a pre-term or low birth weight baby due to the baby being exposed to the harmful bacteria coming from the mother's inflamed gums.

Good Oral Hygiene Can Keep Your Mouth and Body Healthy

All this evidence makes one thing very clear: By taking good care of your oral health, you can help protect yourself from developing serious health issues elsewhere in your body. See your dentist regularly for checkups & professional cleanings and be diligent with your oral hygiene routine for good oral and overall health.