When Dental Problems Can Become Health Disasters


By Adrienne Erin


The health of your teeth and mouth can say a lot about your overall well-being. Often indicative of an ailment, problems with your teeth can be a warning sign that you may just need to make a visit to the doctor. Here are some health disasters that could be related tocommon dental problems:




Though studies on the link between Alzheimer’s and dental health are still in the works, many are finding that there is, in fact, some link between the decreased brain functioning of Alzheimer’s and poor dental and oral health. This could be due to a decreased ability to care for the teeth and gums as memory loss increases, thus leading to higher amounts of plaque and other periodontal bacteria.



Cardiovascular Disease

The link between oral hygiene and cardiovascular disease is one that is under constant surveillance. The thought behind the studies is that the bacteria that is found in the mouth for someone who has poor periodontal health may get into the bloodstream, thus affecting different parts of the body. In the case of cardiovascular disease, the same bacteria and plaque that cause dental problems can be found in the areas surrounding the heart, leading scientists to believe that there surely is a connection between oral health and heart health.




Research shows that diabetics are more likely to have gum disease than their healthier counterparts. Gum disease has many warning signs but could be worsened by the body’s high blood sugar, or glucose, levels, which are naturally increased when foods containing high amounts of carbs and sugars are consumed. The American Diabetes Association created a list of some of the signs to watch out for, like tender, bleeding gums and moving teeth, which are indicative of gum disease and diabetes.




Obesity is another area that can affect the overall health of your teeth and mouth. Generally, those who are found to be in the obese category have poor eating habits and visit the dentist less. There may also be a connection between the need for more prescription medications and oral health, as many medications tend to make the mouth dry. As saliva is a cleaning agent for our mouths, it stands to reason that the less saliva available, the less natural cleaning our body is able to do, thus leaving sugars and bacteria to sit in the mouth for extended periods of time.




At particular risk for periodontitis are women who are pregnant. Periodontitis begins as gingivitis, but worsens when left alone. Often, the gums become inflamed and begin to bleed. They then are susceptible to infection. If left untreated, periodontitis has been linked to low birth weight and premature labor, both of which have an immediate effect on the health of the baby.


As many different diseases and health conditions can be connected to oral hygiene, it goes without saying that practicing proper brushing and flossing techniques can help prevent the need for emergency dental services. Regular visits to the dentist and careful attention to anything abnormal in your teeth and gums could help reduce your risk of developing any of these health disasters.



Adrienne Erin is a freelance writer interested in doing what it takes to live a healthier life. You can follow her on Twitter at @foodierx and read more of her work on her blog Miss Rx.



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