How Your Oral Health Affects Your Overall Health

How Your Oral Health Affects Your Overall Health

As your trusted Sonora, CA dentist, Dr. Berger and the rest of our staff at Sonora Dentist want to make sure every patient understands the potential risks they face to their oral health.

In recent years, more research has continued to emerge that points to potential links between bleeding, swollen, and red gums and a variety of potential health concerns that range from diabetes to heart disease. Researchers believe that bacteria originating in the mouth can enter the bloodstream and travel throughout the body where it can cause inflammatory reactions to occur. When not properly treated, gum disease can increase your risk of developing a variety of diseases linked to inflammation.

Gums Disease & Your Heart

While researchers have yet to conclusively find a link between gum disease and heart disease, the two conditions share a variety of common risk factors, and a number of studies have shown that individuals with gum disease have a higher risk of also suffering from heart disease when compared to individuals with healthy gums.

Even though researchers don’t know the exact correlation, one theory suggests that the oral bacteria that causes gum disease can enter the bloodstream through bleeding gums. Once in the bloodstream, the bacteria travels to the heart where it attaches itself to fatty plaque deposits that line the arteries. This can eventually lead to inflammation and an increased risk of heart attack.

Gum Disease & Diabetes

Research has firmly established that diabetes lowers a person’s ability to fight off infection. When blood sugar levels become elevated- a common condition for individuals with uncontrolled diabetes- a person’s risk of developing gum disease also increases. Further more, gum disease can make it more difficult for individuals with diabetes to properly manage their blood sugar levels. This symbiotic relationship allows the two diseases to feed and enable each other, making it difficult for an individual with diabetes not to develop gum disease.

To help protect the health of your gums, individuals with diabetes need to make every effort to control their blood sugar level, and to practice meticulous oral hygiene. Talk with Dr. Berger to determine the best ways of protecting your gums from the effects of diabetes.

Dry Mouth & Your Oral Health

Saliva plays a vital role in protecting the health of your teeth and gums. Bacteria that grows in the mouth, referred to as plaque, can cause permanent damage to your teeth and gums when left on your teeth following a meal. Saliva helps to wash your teeth clean of plaque and lingering food particles that accumulate after a meal to help minimize the affect this bacteria has on your oral health. Individuals who suffer from dry mouth lose this protection when their bodies stop producing enough saliva.

A variety of conditions and prescription medications can cause dry mouth to develop. If you suffer from dry mouth, talk with Dr. Berger about potential causes of the problem and possible treatment methods. If left untreated, dry mouth dramatically increases your risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease.

Stress & Your Teeth

Individuals who suffer from depression, anxiety, or high levels of stress have a higher risk of developing oral health problems. Studies have shown that the more stress an individual experiences, the higher levels of the hormone cortisol their body will produce. Excessive levels of cortisol can cause serious long-term damage to the health of a person’s gums and overall physical health.

Individuals who suffer from excessive stress also tend to take poorer care of their oral health, as studies have found that over 50 percent of people fail to brush and floss regularly when stressed. Failing to brush increases a person’s risk of gum disease, which in turn can increase the risk of heart disease.

Don’t wait to protect your oral health. Call 209-533-9630 today or click here to schedule your next appointment with Dr. Berger at Sonora Dentist, your Sonora and Jamestown dentist office.


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