Conditions Related to Poor Dental Health
An unhealthy mouth, regardless of the cause, may include problems like gum or periodontal disease, gingivitis, tooth loss, mouth sores and a buildup of plaque. These all result in the presence of bacteria in your mouth, which can affect your entire body and result in serious medical conditions such as:
- Respiratory infections. Patients with dental caries and periodontal disease constantly breathe in bacteria from decayed teeth and infected gums, and over time this can lead to respiratory tract infections, pneumonia and pulmonary diseases such as COPD, according to a study in the Journal of Periodontology.
- Diabetes. This condition results in a "two-way street," with diabetes sufferers having an increased risk of gum disease due to a compromised immune system that makes them more susceptible to bacterial infections. At the same time, a patient with severe gum disease may have a stronger chance of developing diabetes, because efficient blood sugar control becomes more challenging.
- Dementia. It may sound surprising, but there's even a link between dementia and oral health. A report published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society shows a correlation between tooth loss in seniors and poor performance in memory and walking speed.
The risks presented by poor dental health make it imperative to maintain a healthy mouth. If you have crooked teeth or a bad bite, it may be worth your while to consider orthodontic treatment to correct the problem. For other types of bad teeth, oral hygiene is paramount. Brush and floss daily to keep your mouth clean, and protect and soothe sore gums with regular use of an antiseptic mouthwash, such as Colgate Total® Mouthwash for Gum Health, which kills 99 percent of germs on contact.
Keep your mouth healthy and take care of your teeth throughout your life, and you'll reap the long-term benefits in the form of a pain-free mouth and whole body health.