We all know it’s important to brush and floss every day, but how strictly do you actually stick to that? In part 2 of this series, we’re sharing 12 important reasons to brush and floss everyday (you can find our first 6 reasons here).
Diabetes is considered as a high risk factor for periodontitis, but nowadays many research indicates that this is a two way street. If you have extremely poor dental health, then it may also be a risk issue for insulin resistance (pre-diabetes) and diabetes because of increasing inflammation. Some studies have indicated that even in patients with both conditions, controlling periodontitis may improve diabetes control.
People who are suffering from periodontal disease are 4-5 times more likely to get chronic kidney disease. Poor dental health and a high amount of missing teeth can also make patients more susceptible to chronic kidney disease.
There are many studies suggesting the close correlation between oral health (specifically gum disease) and heart disease. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, people with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to have coronary artery disease. While experts aren’t entirely sure about what the direct connection is, we do know that bacteria from the mouth can enter the bloodstream through gums and this same bacteria has been found clumped in artery plaques. So one theory suggests that the plaque in our mouths stick to fatty plaques in the bloodstream and directly contribute to blocked arteries. All the more reason to brush and floss!
Pregnancy can lead to dental problems in some women, including an increase in gum disease and tooth decay. Some research suggests that 18 out of every 100 premature births may be triggered by periodontal disease, hence with good dental hygiene the risk of premature birth can be reduced by more than 80%. Simply brushing and flossing, as well as regular hygiene appointments is an essential way to maintain good oral hygiene while pregnant.
People with periodontitis, can become a reservoir for Helicobacter pylori. The bacterium which is asymptomatic is mostly responsible for stomach ulcers in our body when it flares up. Helicobacter pylori can be transmitted orally. Large epidemiological studies have found that there is a positive link between periodontitis and a positive test for the bacterium, and also a high risk factor for stomach cancer.
Researchers have found that people with poor oral hygiene may be more susceptible to an oral virus that can cause certain mouth and throat cancers. You can read more about the links between oral health and cancer here.
The link between oral and general health is an important one and something we’ve been focusing on at SHDC since 1987. If you have any concerns or haven’t been in for your 6-month check up then give us a call on (02) 9221 5800