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If you suffer from teeth or gum pain, but are trying to ignore it, you could be not only causing your mouth even more harm, but also the rest of your body. There is more bacteria in your mouth than there are people living on the earth. If you don’t control your mouth bacteria, it can easily spread to the rest of your body and cause serious health issues.

Research has shown that oral health problems are now being linked to chronic health problems, such as:

  • Diabetes: In one study, those with serious gum disease were 40 percent more likely to have a chronic condition on top of it, like diabetes. As we shared last week, those who have diabetes are more at risk for gum disease since inflammation that starts in the mouth weakens the body’s ability to control blood sugar.
  • Heart disease: Up to 91 percent of patients with heart disease have gum disease, compared to 66 percent of people with no heart disease. One theory behind this is that inflammation in the mouth causes inflammation in the blood vessels. Inflamed blood vessels allow less blood to travel between the heart and the rest of the body, which raises blood pressure and can lead to heart attacks.
  • Dementia: A study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association found a relationship between people who lost more teeth before the age of 35 and an increased risk of dementia. This doesn’t meant that tooth loss causes dementia, but does show that there is an association between the two.
  • Pulmonary disease: If you have gum disease, it can make your lung disease even worse since it can cause more bacteria to build up on your lungs, which increases infection.  Through taking care of your teeth, you can prevent or diminish your chances of getting pneumonia or other lung problems.

There are easy ways to help prevent these chronic health conditions. Brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily and visit your dentist for a bi-annual, professional teeth cleaning. To set-up your next dental cleaning, contact the Lakeway Center for Cosmetic and Family Dentistry today.