When you go to the dentist, you may not think beyond coming out of your visit with freshly clean and bright teeth. However, your dental health provides a wealth of information to your dentist about your overall health. Many conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and diabetes can have significant impact on your teeth and gums.
One of the major health conditions impacted by dental health is cardiovascular disease. According to numerous research studies, oral bacteria can thrive in individuals who have heart disease. This may be due to chronic inflammation that comes from gum disease. Chronic inflammation has been linked to heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure.
Diabetes is a health condition that affects blood sugar levels. High blood sugar allows bacteria and infections to thrive. In terms of dental health, uncontrolled blood sugar can translate into more frequent and severe infections in gum tissue that holds teeth in place. As a result, individuals with diabetes with poorly controlled blood sugar often lose teeth more easily than individuals without the condition or who have well-controlled blood sugar.
Osteoporosis is a bone condition in which bones become brittle and weak. Many women develop osteoporosis after menopause. However, recent studies suggest that individuals with high amounts of belly fat also are at risk for developing osteoporosis. This places them at risk for tooth loss due to bone brittleness and bone loss in the jaw bone.
Many other health conditions can be revealed through dental health. For example eating disorders often destroy tooth enamel, especially in back molar teeth. Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease are also at higher risk for tooth loss and HIV/AIDS can create painful mouth sores.
Talk to your doctor about any upcoming dental work to find out if you may be at higher risk for infections from dental bacteria traveling through your blood stream. Your doctor or dentist may recommend preventive measures you can take to keep your health safe. After your dental visit, talk to your dentist about any potential health issues they may have found as a result of your examination.
Do you go to the dentist regularly? Do you take preventive medications before your visits?
– The Alternative Daily