Believe it or not, but the actual condition of your mouth is very closely tied to your overall health. This is why taking care of your teeth is so incredibly important. Taking care of your teeth is much more than simply trying to retain a beautiful smile. It is much more than aesthetics. There has been a ton of research that have found numerous links between overall health and well being to oral health. Truth be told, a lot of these links are not clear, but there is certainty that the actual condition of your mouth is very closely tied to your entire health. Below we will discuss some of the links that have been found.
Doctors have actually know for many years that those that suffer from type 2 diabetes have a much increased incidence of periodontitis and/or gum disease. This connection was actually found by researchers at Columbia University. They found that people who had higher levels of gum disease actually had two times the risk of developing type 2 diabetes than people that suffered from no gum disease. While a lot more research is needed to further explain the connection, there is no doubt to medical professionals that gum disease can actually lead people to developing diabetes. There are different theories as to why this happens. One of them is that the infections in your mouth can actually spread throughout the rest of your body. Therefore, the inflammation and infection can wreak havoc on your ability to process sugar. This in turn can lead to diabetes.
Another very interesting connection has been made between bad oral health and heart disease. Researchers have found that those that suffer from gum disease have more incidences of suffering from heart disease. As with diabetes and oral health, researches have yet to figure out what directly causes this. However, they have a couple of theories as to why this happens. One of the theories is that small amounts of bacteria may enter your bloodstream through your infection(s) in your mouth while chewing which can then run through the rest of your bloodstream. Because of this, the bacteria can then lodge itself in different blood vessels which can cause a lot of dangerous blockages and lead to heart disease.
A lot of pregnant women actually suffer from gum infections throughout their pregnancy as a result of hormone fluctuation. A lot of other pregnant women actually neglect oral care when they are pregnant because they have a lot of others things that they are thinking about during the process. However, researchers have shown that it is a huge mistake to neglect oral care while pregnant because gum disease and/or inflammation in the gums/mouth can actually cause an increase in the production of a chemical compound that is known as, "prostaglandin." This chemical compound is actually widely known to have the ability to produce early labor. Therefore, there is sufficient evidence that poor overall dental care and oral health can lead to very low birth weight and other pregnancy complications.
As you can see, there is a direct relationship between dental care and overall health.