Many people know that brushing and flossing their teeth are important, but few realize how crucial oral health is to overall well-being.
In fact, a recent study shows that poor oral health can increase your risk for developing heart disease, stroke and other serious diseases. Oral infections can also lead to bacterial endocarditis, which inflames the heart valves.
1. Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is a chronic disease that can affect people of all ages. It is caused by bacteria (called plaque) on your teeth that turn sugars in food and drinks into acids that attack your teeth.
Once tooth decay has started, it can eat away at your tooth’s enamel and cause holes (cavities) to form. If left untreated, cavities can eventually affect the inner layer of your tooth called dentin.
When tooth decay reaches your tooth’s pulp chamber, it can expose your nerves and cause pain. This is why it’s important to get any cavity treated as soon as possible.
2. Gum Disease
Taking care of your oral health is an important part of maintaining overall well-being. A healthy mouth can help you have a strong immune system and prevent disease, including cancer and heart problems.
It can also boost your self-esteem, helping you feel better about yourself. Studies show that people who maintain good oral health have lower rates of depression and are more socially confident.
Gum disease can affect the health of your heart and other systems in your body, causing inflammation and infection that can damage the inner lining of the heart (endocarditis). This can increase your risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack or stroke.
Research has linked gum disease with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Inhaling bacteria from infected teeth and gums over a long period can cause respiratory infections and pneumonia.
3. Heart Disease
Most people think of a heart attack when they hear the word “heart disease.” But there are several other conditions that can hurt your ticker and make it work harder than it should.
One of the most common is coronary artery disease, which can lead to chest pain and a heart attack or stroke. A buildup of sticky plaque (fat and cholesterol) can narrow arteries, which prevents blood flow.
Smoking can increase your risk of heart disease, as can high blood pressure, obesity, unhealthy diet and lack of exercise. A healthy diet, regular exercise and a reduction in stress can help you improve your heart health.
Stroke is a serious brain disease that occurs when an artery in your brain becomes blocked. This can happen for a number of reasons, including atherosclerosis (cholesterol-containing deposits) and blood clots that stick to the plaque and break off.
Ischemic stroke – occurs when a blockage of an artery in the brain causes oxygen and nutrients to be cut off from that area of your brain. Hemorrhagic stroke – is a less common type of stroke that happens when a blood vessel in the brain breaks open and leaks blood into your brain.
People with strokes often have physical symptoms such as weakness or paralysis of limbs on one side of their body, a slow or impaired ability to communicate and problems gripping or holding things. They may also experience cognitive changes such as difficulty thinking, memory difficulties and trouble with attention.
Diabetes is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide and is one of the top causes of death. It can be difficult to live with and may impact every aspect of your life.
It can cause a number of emotional issues including stress, feeling low and depressed, and burnout. These feelings can be overwhelming, and often the person with diabetes may find it hard to talk about them.
Having diabetes can also lead to other complications such as heart disease and eye damage. However, with the right treatment and care, you can enjoy a long and healthy life.