In a general sense, we think of doctors and dentists as completely different entities, which is fair considering both specialize in such radically different fields of health care. However, at their cores these two fields are more closely related than many people realize. Dentists in Chicago, IL actually can spot signs of much more serious, non-tooth related health conditions, proving that oral health and general health are much more closely related than what many see on the surface.
The following are some very important ways that your teeth and your general health are linked:
Your Mouth Can Be an Avenue for Infection
The good news about your mouth is that on a normal day, there is no obvious way for bacteria to find their way into your bloodstream to wreak havoc on your healthy state of being, meaning people with loads of bacteria around their teeth and gums due to poor brushing and plaque buildup will not necessarily get sick as a result of their poor dental hygiene. The bad news is that any sort of invasive dental procedure, even something as simple as a routine cleaning, can open up those sensitive gums and allow the bacteria to bore their way into your body.
For most healthy people, this may not cause major problems, but someone with a weaker immune system could cause an infection in an entirely different part of their body, all because severe gingivitis or periodontitis allowed nasty bacteria to accumulate and weaken the integrity of their gums, allowing that infection to thrive.
Plaque Can Cause a Number of Common Conditions
Infection isn’t the only problem that plaque can cause. While losing one’s teeth is the most obvious cosmetic concern, there are other general health conditions that can be worsened by these potential oral infections. For example, someone that already has diabetes may find that their glucose levels are harder to control because of their chronic gum disease. Infections can build up a resistance to insulin, making it much more dangerous for people with diabetes.
Furthermore, infected or inflamed gums can contribute to problems with blood clots and clogged arteries. Yes, the plaque in your teeth and the plaque in your arteries are distantly related, and infected gums can lead to increased risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Many Conditions Can Be Recognized Through Oral Signs & Symptoms
Spotting lesions in human mouths or finding other gum-related or tooth-related issues could help lead to an early diagnosis of HIV or diabetes. The truth is that as many as 90 percent of systemic diseases show symptoms in the mouth. As a diagnostic tool for general health, the mouth is an invaluable resource.
If you have any questions about your own dental health or are worried about the state of your teeth and gums in relation to potentially bigger problems, reach out to the professionals at Smile On Dental Salon & Sleep Apnea Center. Our team will make sure you get the care you need to get back on the track to better dental health.