Oral health is important in and of itself, but what many people don't realize is…
Heart disease and other illnesses caused by bad oral healthJanuary 13, 2020
A toothache is one of the most awful and annoying pain one can experience. You might have also heard some people exclaim, “My toothache is killing me!”. Though that’s certainly an exaggeration, what many people do not realise is that bad oral health can lead to serious health issues.
It’s not just in your mouth
The human body is one unit. No organ or body part can exist in isolation. So, if you are suffering from an oral problem, it is very likely that the issue extends beyond your mouth. Sometimes a dental problem can also act as a warning signal for other existing medical problems in the body. But either way, you cannot have perfect overall health without a healthy mouth, teeth, and gums.
Does oral health affect your heart?
As uncommon as it is for people to realise the far-reaching effects of oral health on their overall fitness, it is even rarer for people to connect the health of their heart to their mouth. Not many people think to ask, “Can toothaches suggest heart problems?” or “Is gum disease related to heart disease?”. And even if they do, their concerns are often dismissed by friends and family. But a healthy mouth is one of the key factors important for a healthy heart!
Though you will find experts taking varying stances, research and studies have established a strong connection between oral practices and the health of our heart. Periodontal (gum-related infection) disease has been linked to heart disease. Prolonged gum inflation is considered a strong indication of cardiovascular disease.
A study suggests that people who brush twice a day for a minimum of two minutes, face a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases. Research is being conducted to find the link between a person’s dental habits and their chances of suffering from heart attack, heart failure, or stroke.
Other kinds of health issues connected to oral health
There are various conditions associated with oral health and they can further affect your health. An infection in your teeth can travel far and wide across your body and cause some serious, and in very rare cases fatal, problems. Consult with your general physician or dentist to determine if the problem is related to your dental health and determine the best course of action before the situation gets worse!
Here are a few examples of the conditions that researchers believe can be caused or aggravated by oral problems:
- Certain heart conditions, such as endocarditis (infection in the inner lining of heart chambers or valves caused by bacteria or other germs that spread from other parts of the body to the heart) and cardiovascular disease
- Issues in pregnancy and childbirth
And here’s a list of some of the most common conditions that can cause oral problems, and so an oral symptom can be used to diagnose:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Heart attacks
- Sinus inflammation
Researchers have found that approximately 90% of systemic diseases give clues in the mouth.
Prevention and cure
Remember regular check-ups with a dentist and a good dental hygiene routine are very important! We bring you the most common, simple ways to achieve and maintain oral fitness:
- Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, as recommended by Canadian Dental Association (CDA)
- Floss and use mouthwash daily
- Regularly replace your toothbrush
- Get regular dental check-ups and cleaning
- Do not delay consulting your dentist in case of any oral trouble
- Follow a healthy, balanced diet and limit food that a lot of sugar
- Avoid smoking
Do you suffer from a toothache or any other “pesky little” dental problem that you have been ignoring? Set-up an appointment with us today. We will diagnose it for you and suggest appropriate treatment and care.