You might think that your oral health and the health of the rest of your body have very little to do with each other. When an individual is diagnosed with gum disease, it is very unlikely that his or her first thoughts are of the potential for diabetes or heart disease. However, recent research indicates that the health of a person’s teeth and gums and his or her overall health may have a closer connection than originally thought. Many diseases of the body seem to share a close link with gum disease or other oral health problems. These are some of the common diseases that may have a link to oral health.
Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes seem to have a close link to gum disease. This makes sense, as both gum disease and diabetes can be caused or aggravated by eating too many sugary foods and by smoking. Diabetes also creates other risk factors for gum disease, including an excessively dry mouth and ulcers on the gums.
Individuals who have suffered a stroke in Oklahoma City, OK may have special oral health needs as they recover. If the stroke has caused paralysis on one side of the body, the patient may have difficulty keeping up with brushing and flossing. Numbness caused by the stroke can prevent the patient from feeling pain from a decaying tooth or other other oral health problem, delaying treatment for the issue.
Perhaps most interesting – and frightening – is the link between gum disease and heart disease. There is evidence to show that bacteria that originates in the mouth can enter the bloodstream through weakened or bleeding gums and ultimately find its way to the heart. This can cause new heart problems or exacerbate existing ones.
If you are visiting or live in the Oklahoma City, OK area and want to find out more about how to maintain good overall oral health, or feel you may need periodontal services for gum disease, schedule an appointment with Dr. Van Horn at Southern Smiles OKC.