oral health an indicator of concerning health conditions
A smile that looks bright and attractive does a lot for your sense of confidence. Behind appearance, your smile has a great deal to do with health and wellness. Dr. Tuli and the team at Burloak Centre Dentistry in Oakville discuss with patients the various ways their smile affects their body.
Oral health and the heart
Dental conditions like cavities and gum disease are the result of unbridled oral bacteria. One reason to adequately manage these microorganisms is to protect the smile. Another is to protect the heart. In research studies, the same bacteria that have been found in the mouth have also been found the lining of the heart, the endocardium. Endocarditis is a health concern that occurs when bacteria attach to this lining. Additional research findings suggest that stroke, clogged arteries, and heart disease are linked to the chronic infection and inflammation caused by oral bacteria.
People with diabetes are at a greater risk for infection and, as such, gum disease. The presence of gum disease also makes it more difficult to manage blood glucose levels. Research suggests that gum disease tends to be more frequent and severe in the diabetic patient.
Tooth loss and periodontal bone loss from gum disease may be linked to osteoporosis, in which bones grow weak and brittle.
Oral health may also be directly associated with eating disorders and Sjogren's syndrome, an immune disorder causing dry mouth.
Due to the links between oral and systemic health, we find it very important to discuss with our patients their medical history. If you have a chronic health condition like diabetes are taking medication, or have experienced changes in general health, your dentist needs to know.
How you can protect your oral health
The key element to optimal oral health is daily hygiene. We encourage:
- Brushing twice a day, if not after every meal.
- Daily flossing.
- Limit snacking.
- Include healthy fruits and vegetables into your diet.
- Get a new toothbrush every three to four months, more often if bristles become worn.
- Maintain regular visits with your dentist.
Also, schedule a visit with your dentist at the first sign of a dental problem. The investment that you make into your smile bring you a lifetime of reward.
The team at Burloak Centre Dentistry is happy to answer your questions and treat your smile with personal attention. Call 905.581.4436.