Health Issues That Can Affect Your Oral Health

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oral health, girl smiling, dental issue

Our overall and oral health is tightly connected, even if it may not seem so. Both can affect the other, whether it be positively or negatively. To lead a healthy, fulfilling life, we must take care of not only our body but also our mouth! Contacting your dentist for more information regarding different health issues you have and their effects on your oral health can help you get your health back on track and have you feeling better than ever before.

Acid reflux

Acid reflux, also known as Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD, can have detrimental effects on our dental health.  It is a condition which entails stomach acids travelling up the oesophagus (throat), sometimes ending in the mouth. These acids can be dangerous, and in extreme cases, can even lead to oesophageal cancer.

Within the confines of the mouth, acid reflux could lead to tooth erosion as well as periodontal issues.

After being diagnosed with acid reflux, patients should follow their physician’s advice and instructions when it comes to controlling their stomach acid. In many cases, medical professionals will recommend avoiding citrus or acidic foods like tomatoes, raw onions, chocolate, alcohol, and coffee. If the condition is particularly severe and your dental health is suffering, a physician may also prescribe medication to get your reflux under control, decreasing the amount of acid produced in excess.

Stomach ulcers

Health professionals previously believed that stomach ulcers were only the direct result of an overproduction of stomach acid, which destroyed the stomach’s walls. Previous treatment for ulcers entailed only controlling the amount of acid produced.

But recently, researchers discovered that certain bacteria in the mouth, caused by poor dental hygiene, may actually lead to stomach ulcers. The bacteria believed to play a role in stomach ulcer production are common among individuals with infected gum tissue.

Therefore, it is crucial to take care of our dental health to avoid any further, seemingly unrelated health conditions. Destructive bacteria that forms in the mouth can spread across the body and harm our well-being.

Chronic kidney disease

Chronic kidney disease is a hard condition to live with on its own, paired with chronic dental issues such as cavities or gum disease; it only gets harder. As another infection grows in your mouth, your body will have to take and use some of its valuable resources towards fighting the dental disease, instead of working to improve the status of your kidneys. While fighting off additional dental disease, you may end up in the hospital more often than normal since your immune system is impaired.

Patients with kidney disease on dialysis may receive blood-thinning medications to prevent clotting. But this can pose problems during dental surgeries and make getting dental work more dangerous.

Diabetes

Diabetes is another medical condition that can wreak havoc on our smiles and general dental health. Diabetics are 3 to 4 times more likely to develop periodontal disease in their lifetimes. Periodontal disease is when various bacteria severely infect the gum tissue.

Diabetes, especially when undetected, can cause persistent bad breath resulting in low self-confidence.

If you have diabetes and notice that your gums are red, swollen, and sore to the touch, inform your dentist in Milton Keynes right away. They will schedule an emergency check up to see if you have gum disease. Should you, in fact, have periodontal disease, your dentist will create a treatment plan with your kidney disease in mind. In most cases, complex surgeries will be avoided as much as possible, and certainly when the patient is on dialysis.

High blood pressure

High blood pressure and related cardiovascular diseases have a strong connection with periodontal disease. When the gum tissue is inflamed, the blood vessels thicken and are filled with plaque, effectively decreasing your blood flow.

A decreased blood flow, along with high blood pressure, dramatically increases your risk of heart attack and stroke.

If you have any medical conditions, tell your dentist at your check-up so your medical records can be updated. Armoured with your complete medical history, your dentist can make informed decisions about your future treatment plans as well as look for any developing issues. 

Guest Post by Susan Louisa

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