There are two ways to look at this topic:
- How your mouth serves as an entry point for harmful bacteria, allowing them to enter your respiratory and digestive tract, or
- Determining the symptoms of other bodily diseases that may be visible in your mouth.
Your oral health is a contributing factor that triggers the onset of a lot of other diseases in your body, harming normal bodily functions. This includes the growth of inflammatory bacteria in your mouth, which can then be transferred to your digestive tract—if not destroyed, they may also enter your bloodstream.
How Is My Mouth Affecting My Overall Health?
Medications like antihistamines, decongestants, painkillers, antidepressants, and diuretics can reduce the production of saliva. Saliva is responsible for neutralizing the pH level of your mouth, which prevents microbes from multiplying.
The following are bodily diseases that poor health may contribute to:
Endocarditis: Endocarditis is a life-threatening inflammation of the heart muscles and valves which is caused by a bacterial infection. These bacteria enter your bloodstream through your mouth and attach themselves to the linings of your heart.
Pregnancy and premature births: Periodontal diseases have often been linked to premature labor and lower birth weight in infants. Gum diseases are also known to cause complications during pregnancy.
Pneumonia: The higher the levels of bacteria in your mouth, the higher the chances of them being pulled into your lungs. This can cause pneumonia and other respiratory diseases.
Can Oral Health Symptoms Identify Declining Overall Health?
The state of your mouth, gums, and teeth can alert your dentist about other medical issues that need to be treated. These include eating disorders, anxiety, insomnia, and more. The following are some conditions that your dentist can identify:
Anxiety: Bruxism is found to be more prevalent in people with disorderly sleeping patterns and anxiety. If your teeth have become flat and are shorter than before, it’s safe to say that you have been grinding your teeth while sleeping. Your dentist can prescribe you a nightguard or suggest that you see a stress counselor.
Eating Disorders: Gastric acid from bulimia, anorexia, and purging disorders can erode the enamel and dentine—the soft layer beneath your enamel. This erosion may lead to your dentist inquiring about eating disorders that you may be experiencing.
Diabetes: This is a two-way street. Diabetes increases the risk of gum diseases, which negatively affects the body’s ability to keep blood sugar under control.
And when your blood sugar isn’t under control, you know what happens? Yep! Diabetes.
Depending on the conditions of your teeth and your existing overall health issues, the dentists at Bethesda Dental Health will be able to recommend the appropriate oral treatment, like periodontal, crown lengthening, dental implants or veneers services. Get in touch with us today!