If you have gingivitis, you may have more than swollen gums to worry about. Studies have linked dental issues like gum disease and dental infections to many more serious health problems. Keep reading to learn about 6 health conditions that can be caused by poor oral health.
Infertility and Pregnancy Complications
Emerging research shows that when it comes to infertility, the effects of gum disease are very similar to the effects of obesity. In one study, scientists found that on average, women with gum disease took about 7 months to conceive while women with healthy gums were able to conceive within 5 months. For those who are pregnant, hormonal changes make them even more vulnerable to oral infections, which can lead to complications like preterm birth, low birth weight and more.
Chronic gum disease occurs when the gums have receded and created pockets that hold bacteria, leading to infection. Once the infection spreads to the bone, surrounding teeth and into the bloodstream, it can cause blood vessels to swell and block the flow of blood to the genitals. This minimized blood flow can make erections difficult to achieve or prevent them from occurring altogether.
Nephrologists, or kidney experts, have found that infections like gum disease weaken the immune system and make individuals more susceptible to kidney disease. This severe health condition affects the kidneys, the heart, bones and blood pressure. It can also be fatal if it leads to kidney failure or cardiovascular disease.
It is known that using tobacco products can cause throat or oral cancer, but kidney, pancreatic and blood cancer have also been linked to substandard dental hygiene. Poor oral health has also been found to increase the risk of liver cancer by 75 percent.
Bacteria from gingivitis can cause inflammation throughout the entire body, increasing the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society has found that individuals with gum disease were 4x more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis than those with healthy gums.
Poor dental hygiene can be the result of dementia, but dementia can also be caused by poor dental care. The substances from a dental infection that are released into the bloodstream have the ability to kill brain cells and cause memory loss.
Poor oral hygiene can affect more than just your mouth. Practicing proper dental care, like brushing twice a day for 2 minutes and flossing, will reduce your risk of developing these serious health conditions and help you achieve the bright, healthy smile you deserve.
About the Author
The team of dentists at Painesville Dental Group offers patients of all ages customized, state-of-the-art dental care. Their professional affiliations include the American Dental Association, the Ohio Dental Association and the Northeast Ohio Dental Association. Painesville Dental Group offers a wide range of services that include general cleanings and exams, cosmetic dentistry, gum disease therapy and more. If you have signs of gum disease, contact the office at (440)354-2183 or visit the website to schedule your visit today.