A bad tooth or two is something that most people tend to ignore. In fact, you will surely find yourself delaying your regular half-yearly dental appointments unless you have pain or serious issues. But oral health goes much beyond the health of your teeth, gums, and mouth. Surprisingly, it is closely connected with other aspects of your well being. The bigger worry is that poor oral health can elevate the risk of several serious medical complications. Here are some surprising and serious health implications of dental issues that you must be aware of.
Although it may be hard to believe, poor oral health actually makes you susceptible to heart disease. Gum disease is the main culprit in this context. The bacteria causing gum disease are capable of entering your bloodstream. To make things worse, they can cause plaque buildup in your arteries over time, which can cause them to harden and get clogged. Eventually, there could be circulation problems in the arteries and this elevates the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Another unbelievable fact about poor dental health is that it is a risk factor for rheumatoid arteries. Research studies indicate that people with gum disease have a significantly higher probability of developing rheumatoid arthritis as compared to those with excellent oral health. Gum disease is responsible for inflammation throughout your body and one of the results is in the form of development of rheumatoid arthritis.
Mental health issues
The condition of your teeth and gums not only affects you physically but mentally as well. Over the years, scientific studies have established a close link between mental and dental health, which is something that people don’t know. When your gums get infected, they release harmful substances into the nerve channels which are directly connected with the brain. These are dangerous to the extent that they can eventually kill brain cells and cause dementia. Depression, anorexia nervosa, schizophrenia, and substance abuse are some other mental conditions associated with tooth decay.
Female infertility and pregnancy complications
Although the reason is a mystery, there is a connection between gum disease and female infertility in women. Studies suggest that women with poor oral health often take longer to conceive. The problems may persist even during pregnancy, with periodontal disease being a cause of premature delivery and low birth weight. Further, the risk of gum infection runs high during pregnancy because of the hormonal changes in a woman’s body.
Apart from causing infertility issues in women, poor oral hygiene also increases the risk of erectile dysfunction in males. Once again, the bacteria causing gum disease are responsible. They enter the bloodstream and cause inflammation and blockage in the blood vessels. Such blockage restricts the blood flow to the reproductive organs, which makes an erection hard to achieve and sustain.
Considering these serious implications of dental decay, it makes sense to go the extra mile with oral health and hygiene. Regular checkups can be of great value for early diagnosis and timely treatment before these conditions take a serious form.