Oral Health Smile Girl

When you think about your overall health, you may consider diet, exercise, and visiting your family physician for yearly physicals. However, you shouldn’t stop at simply visiting your family doctor. Your oral health can also be a good indicator of your overall health. For example, did you know that if you have diabetes, an immune system condition, or high blood pressure, it can affect the health of your gums? Find out more conditions that are impacted by your oral health by reading on.

Conditions that Can Negatively Impact Your Oral Health

Certain chronic conditions can make maintaining your oral health difficult, even if you brush and floss regularly. Two conditions that are notorious for contributing to gum disease and tooth decay are diabetes and immune system problems.

Diabetes

Having chronically high blood sugar levels affects the health of your immune system, your circulatory system, and your central nervous system. When your immune system isn’t functioning optimally, it can result in excess bacteria in your mouth, which can lead to gum inflammation, gingivitis, periodontal disease, and gum infections or abscesses. Diabetes, even in the early stages, affects the small blood vessels throughout your body. This includes the blood vessels in your gums. When your gums have a reduced blood supply, they can start to recede. If your central nervous system isn’t functioning correctly, you may have cavities and tooth decay that you can’t feel.

Immune System Problems

If you have a condition that impacts the health of your immune system, it can negatively impact your oral health. Your mouth is full of good and bad bacteria. In individuals who have healthy immune systems and brush and floss their teeth regularly, the bad bacteria are kept in check. However, for individuals with compromised immune systems, the bad bacteria in the mouth can overwhelm the good bacteria, leading to gingivitis, periodontal disease, and oral infections. If these problems aren’t located quickly, they can result in the need for tooth extractions.

Conditions Connected to Poor Oral Health

Having poor oral health, such as gingivitis and periodontal disease have also been linked to certain chronic conditions including diseases of the cardiovascular system, endocarditis, and dementia.

Cardiovascular Disease

When oral bacteria leaves the mouth and travels through the bloodstream, it can cause problems in your circulatory system. This includes inflammation and a hardening of the arteries, which may put you at an increased risk for experiencing clogged arteries, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes.

Endocarditis

If the bacteria in the mouth travel to the heart, it may lead to a condition known as endocarditis, which is an infection of the lining of the heart.

Dementia

The bacteria in the mouth has also been linked to dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. The bacteria in the mouth have the ability to travel to other parts of the body and brain via the circulatory system, especially if your gums bleed or you’ve needed invasive dental procedures, like root canals and tooth extractions. Research has suggested that when the bacteria in the mouth travel to the brain, it causes an immune system response. That response can release chemicals that destroy brain cells, leading to short and long term memory loss and confusion or mental fogginess that gets worse with time.

Protecting and Maintaining Your Oral Health with Our Periodontist in Vero Beach, Florida

Our periodontist in Vera Beach, Florida can help restore your oral health, even if you have advanced periodontal disease with severe gum recession, jaw bone loss, and loose teeth. Our periodontal services include surgical cleanings, bone and tissue grafting, guided tissue, and bone regeneration that can restore the health of your gums and mouth. If you have had previous tooth extractions due to your gum disease, we also offer dental implants, which can be inserted once the health of your jaw bone and gums has been restored.

To schedule an appointment with our Vero Beach dentist at Vero Implants and Periodontics, call us at 772-569-9700 today.