March 17, 2016
Have you ever thought about your oral health and how it might influence your body? A lot of us don’t – in fact, we often assume that our mouths and bodies are part of two different systems. The reality is pretty different and, when you start thinking about it, obvious. Our bodies and mouths are definitely connected!
There are a number of ways in which your oral health can have a serious effect on your body, and it’s definitely not for the better. We’ve seen plenty of cases at our Belleville office in which poor oral health has contributed to bodily diseases that are so severe they can even be life threatening.
The Relationship Between Mouth And Body
Gum disease and tooth decay are the most common problems that you can have in your mouth, and most other oral health problems are directly tied to one of those two. Both are also caused by the same thing: oral bacteria.
The bacteria in your mouth does serious damage to your teeth and gums, so wouldn’t it make sense that it could be harmful to other parts of your body as well? Oral bacteria is, in fact, the reason that your mouth can have such negative effects on your body. When oral bacteria gets into your bloodstream it’s just a matter of time before it causes problems elsewhere.
Oral Bacteria: How Does It Move Around?
Our mouths aren’t exactly filled with blood on a regular basis, so how does oral bacteria make its way into your bloodstream? The answer is simple, and we’ve already mentioned it: gum disease and tooth decay.
Bleeding is one of the most common, and earliest, signs of tooth decay. If your mouth ever bleeds when you’re brushing you aren’t seeing something typical – you’re seeing a symptom of a serious problem. When you open up your gums bacteria will find a way inside, and from there onto other parts of your body!
When it comes to tooth decay bleeding is a bit more of a last-stage problem. Cavities that make it all the way to the roots of your teeth will have access to the blood vessels that live there, and if a cavity infects the root it’s easy for bacteria to get around.
What Oral Bacteria Can Do
There are number of serious illnesses that have a solid link to oral bacteria. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to get seriously ill if you have gum disease or a cavity. They’re only risk factors.
- A particular strain of oral bacteria has been found to directly contribute to hemorrhagic strokes. It’s attracted to weak spots in cerebral blood vessels, and once it makes it there it spreads, making the possibility of a hemorrhage become much greater.
- It’s common to take bacteria profiles from the mouths of patients suffering from different conditions, and readings of people with pancreatic cancer has shown completely different profiles. This leads researchers to believe that certain oral bacteria is strongly related to the chances of pancreatic cancer.
- Oral bacteria in the bloodstream causes dramatic elevation in particular kinds of proteins. The exact same proteins, in fact, that cause inflammation of the heart and blood vessels. Chronic inflammation of that kind is what causes heart disease, heart attack, and hypertension.
- Patients with kidney disease who also suffer from gum disease have a much higher rate of death than those who have healthy mouths. This is because of how much kidney disease destroys the immune system. Oral bacteria has free reign over the body and can cause a whole bunch of problems.
- Patients with gum disease, poor oral hygiene, or a lot of cavities tend to have a lot more respiratory illnesses, including bacteria pneumonia and MRSA. It’s really easy to inhale oral bacteria, and if you aren’t keeping it in check you’re just asking for a chest infection!
How Do You Reduce Your Risks?
It might seem tough, but it’s not that hard to keep your mouth healthy. As long as you maintain good oral hygiene by brushing, flossing, and getting regular cleanings and exams you should be fine! Professional dental care might be the most crucial part of that formula because it allows us to detect problems early. Early detection means early treatment, which in turn means far less oral bacteria getting into your bloodstream.
We want to keep you and your teeth happy, but we can’t do it without seeing you twice a year! Don’t let your smile make you sick – call the office of Dr. Thomas J. Feder, DDS, today at 618-219-1412! You can also request an appointment online. We look forward to seeing you soon!