Your dentist may be able to detect a health problem just by examining your mouth. And if you already have a medical condition that affects your mouth, be sure to schedule regular appointments.
There is a strong link between our oral health and our overall health. When we brush our teeth twice a day, floss, and have regular dental check-ups, we are doing our part to contribute to a healthy mouth. However, certain medical conditions can negatively impact our oral health, no matter how well we take care of our mouth.
When you go to the dentist for a check-up, your dentist does more than look for cavities. This is because your mouth can signal that there is a problem in another part of your body. Several medical conditions are linked to tooth and gum disease.
There are many medical conditions that can cause oral health problems. Below are 5 diseases that can negatively impact your oral health.
Osteoporosis is a bone disease that typically only affects older men and women. It occurs when the body loses too much bone, makes too little bone, or in some cases, both. A person’s bones become weak and may break easily from a fall, or in severe cases, from something minor like sneezing.
Several studies have discovered a link between bone loss associated with osteoporosis and an increase in loose teeth and tooth loss. According to the National Institute of Health, women with osteoporosis are three times more likely to have tooth loss than women who do not have the disease.
2. Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disorder that affects many joints in the body. It causes painful swelling, and over long periods of time, RA can cause bone erosion and joint deformity.
Patients with RA have an increased risk of developing gum disease. Studies indicate that the more teeth a person loses, the more severe your RA is likely to be.
A person with anemia lacks enough healthy red blood cells to carry sufficient oxygen to their body’s tissues. There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can prevent nutrients from getting to the teeth and are more prone to tooth decay and gum disease. This can increase the risk of infection and has been known to lead to ulcers and tongue problems.
4. Chronic Kidney Disease
There is a link between people with long-term kidney disease and severe gum issues. Chronic kidney disease can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, and poor bone health. All three of these things have a connection to gum disease. Chronic gum infections can cause inflammation in other parts of the body, further hurting the kidneys.
If you or a loved one have chronic kidney disease, a small infection in the mouth needs to be addressed quickly as it could develop into something more serious.
5. Lung Disease
Several lung diseases are linked to gum disease, such as bronchitis, pneumonia, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). All of these increase the number of harmful bacteria in your mouth. Bacteria can travel to your lungs and could even trigger lung disease. Smoking can make these problems worse.
Talk to Your Dentist
Regular check-ups with your dentist are essential to your oral and overall health. Don’t neglect these visits! Your dentist may be able to detect a health problem just by examining your mouth. And if you already have a medical condition that affects your mouth, be sure to schedule regular appointments.
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