Medical illnesses that have an impact on dental health

Brushing, flossing, and seeing the dentist are common practices for many patients. However, your dental health is linked to your overall health, and many medical disorders can have a detrimental impact on it. 

Most people are educated about the importance of frequent brushing and flossing when they are young. But many people are unaware that maintaining good oral health is essential for preserving overall health, particularly for those with specific medical disorders. 

Your dentist looks for more than just cavities when you visit for a standard dental examination. This is due to the fact that abnormalities in the mouth might indicate problems throughout the body. Check out these 11 medical issues that could affect your dental health if you desire a healthy body and mouth. 

Diseases associated with poor dental health

 

High Blood Pressure

If you have high blood pressure, you’re more likely to have gum disease, increasing your risk of red, swollen, and bleeding gums. The effects of high blood pressure medications on your gums and dry mouth can contribute to tooth decay. Discuss treatment options with your doctor and dentist if you have high blood pressure. One type of blood pressure medicine, known as an ACE inhibitor, may help maintain both your blood pressure and your oral health.

Diabetes

Your body’s capacity to handle sugar is impacted by diabetes. Medical care and a restricted diet can help you manage it. However, if unchecked, it can result in a variety of issues, including the rapid ageing of the kidneys, eyes, nerves, and blood vessels, as well as some issues with your mouth, such as:

A decrease in saliva causes your mouth to feel extremely dry.

Due to a lack of saliva, there are more cavities. Your teeth need saliva to prevent cavities.

Blood vessels thickening, which causes gums to swell and bleed, reduces the gum tissue’s ability to fight off infection.

Diabetes may cause cuts or cold sores in your mouth to heal more slowly.

Because high glucose levels may encourage the growth of germs and create the conditions for infection, you are more prone to develop a mouth infection.

The good news is that by getting therapy for one, both diabetes and gum disease can be improved.

Cardiovascular Issues

There are hundreds of different types of bacteria in your mouth. Your mouth’s ability to repel pathogenic microorganisms depends on how healthy it is. However, you lose this capacity when you have gum disease, an infection, or another issue in your mouth. Numerous studies have linked periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, to cardiovascular disease. Infection and inflammation brought on by the bacteria in your mouth have been linked to heart disease, blocked arteries, and even stroke.

Endocarditis, an infection of the heart, is another cardiovascular issue connected to dental health. Bacteria in the circulation that cling to vulnerable spots in the heart are typically the culprits. In the event that your mouth’s usual defences are compromised, these bacteria may have arrived from there. How can you stop it? You should pay special attention to your dental health, brush and floss your teeth and gums frequently, and get regular dental examinations.

Cancer

Those with cancer who have oral issues make up more than one-third of the population. Cancer and its therapies impair your immune system, making infections more likely, especially if your gums are poor. Chronic illnesses like ongoing or undetected cancer can significantly impact your dental health. The following are examples of side effects from cancer therapies that can affect your mouth:

  1. Oral sores
  2. Mouth ache
  3. Delicate gums
  4. Jaw ache

     

Anaemia

Anaemia patients have insufficient red blood cells, which is a serious issue since red blood cells transport oxygen throughout the body. The gums are one of the first places you could experience symptoms and difficulties because less oxygen is getting to the tissues in your body as a result of fewer red blood cells. Gums with anaemia are frequently pale rather than pink, and since there is less blood flow, it can be challenging to treat wounds and infections. You can have tongue pain, tongue redness, or swollen tongue/glands if you have anaemic gums.

Osteoporosis

Because osteoporosis makes your bones brittle and weaker, it may also cause bone loss in your teeth. Your teeth may eventually fall out because they break as they deteriorate. Additionally, several medications used to treat osteoporosis can harm the jawbones.

Chronic Kidney Disease

Chronic renal illness and serious gum issues are related in two ways. Gum disease has a connection to chronic kidney disease, heart disease, and high blood pressure, all of which can result from chronic kidney disease. Chronic gum infection can also lead to inflammation in other parts of the body, which can worsen the effects on your kidneys. Everybody should take care of their teeth and gums, but a small infection in your mouth could worsen if you have a kidney illness. Take the finest possible care of your mouth, and visit the dentist frequently.

Lung Cancer

Gum disease, which raises the quantity of harmful bacteria in your mouth, has been related to lung conditions like COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), bronchitis, and pneumonia. Your lungs may become infected with the germs, resulting in lung disease. Work with your dentist to maintain healthy gums, and let your doctor know if you experience lung symptoms like coughing, shortness of breath, or gum disease. If you smoke, speak with your dentist or doctor about a quitting plan because smoking exacerbates these issues.

Acid Reflux

Dentists frequently identify gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), also known as acid reflux, because tooth erosion is one of the condition’s main symptoms. The stomach’s acidic contents rise into the mouth and gradually erode tooth enamel. Protect your teeth during a reflux episode by gargling with plenty of water or chewing sugar-free gum to increase saliva production and neutralize oral acid. Brushing your teeth right after experiencing reflux might harm enamel that has already been compromised by acid. 

Autoimmune Diseases

Many of the germs that thrive in the mouth might harm your general health. There are 500 distinct species of bacteria in our mouths, some of which might lead to periodontal disease. Numerous oral health problems are related to auto-immune diseases like Lupus. Lupus is just the start of the condition; bad oral hygiene can make it worse. Regular dental check-ups with a competent dentist can help identify and resolve any issues that could develop with a chronic illness like lupus. Chronic disease and dental health have similar risk factors, and issues with general health might exacerbate or create difficulties with oral health.

Bulimia and Anorexia

Strong stomach acid that flows across your teeth repeatedly is caused by frequent vomiting. As a result, teeth may change colour, become brittle, transparent, and weak, and their enamel may be damaged. In extreme circumstances, the pulp may become exposed and infected. Overbrushing your teeth or washing your mouth after vomiting can worsen tooth decay.

The key is preventive care

Patients should brush and floss every day, inform their dentists of their health status, and schedule routine checks because, in many situations, regular preventive dental care can help lessen many of the oral side effects of these medical disorders.



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