Other Parts Of The Body Affected By Bad Oral Hygiene
You most likely grew up hearing over and over again that not brushing your teeth results in cavities, gum disease and root canals. Your parents may have limited your Halloween daily candy allowance, and your dentist probably plastered posters around the office with pictures of teeth that look more like they came from Captain Jack Sparrow’s mouth. Yuck.
But if that wasn’t enough to instill good oral habits in your daily grind, like brushing twice a day and flossing, then maybe you need to learn about how bad oral care can affect other parts of the body besides just your mouth.
Recent research studies have found a strong link between infertility and gum disease or Periodontitis. For this reason, its highly recommended to make a visit with your dentist before trying to have a baby. Smoking, bleeding gums and oral diseases all factored into the ability to conceive. For men, one researcher from the University of Western Australia found that gum disease affected the quality of sperm, reducing chances of conceiving.
For couples who took good care of their teeth and gums, 75 percent were found to take less than one year to finally conceive.
Those diagnosed with Diabetes are severely more affected by gum disease than others. When you neglect brushing your teeth, even just one time, you leave your mouth vulnerable to the power of bacteria. Germs quickly find a home in your gums, leaving you with gum disease. Gum disease is harder to control for diabetics due to the difficulty in controlling blood sugar.
It’s a two way street: Not only are people with diabetes more susceptible to serious gum disease, but serious gum disease may have the potential to affect blood glucose control and contribute to the progression of diabetes.
In the past decade, more research has surfaced regarding the connection between bad oral care and coronary heart disease. This means the worse shape your mouth is in, the higher the chances of a heart attack become. Researchers think this is because the bacteria that accompanies gum disease can dislodge from the gums, enter the bloodstream, attach to blood vessels and increase clot formation. When a blood clot forms, it reduces the blood flow to the heart, causing an elevation in blood pressure and resulting in heart attacks.
As you can see, gum disease has serious effects that extend beyond your mouth. If you want to see a long and happy life, have a baby, or be able to have a bite of Cherry pie over the holidays, make sure you are practicing the best oral habits you can, including:
- Brush 2-3 times each day for 2-3 minutes
- Use fluoride toothpaste
- Floss to remove plaque from hard-to-reach spots between teeth
- Further reduce plaque by up to 20 percent with mouthwash
- Eat a healthy diet to give your body plenty of vitamins and nutrients
- Avoid cigarettes and tobacco
- Make an appointment for a dental checkup every six months
For those who already have diabetes or heart disease, it’s important to maintain dental care to best take care of yourself. It’s important to, like others, continue brushing and flossing twice per day, and inform your dentist of your condition and medical history. He or she can provide you with instructions and prescriptions, as needed.
Lindsay Bradshaw takes care of her gums and teeth to keep her teeth and the rest of her body health.