At Weisbard Dental, we are committed to keeping our patients and our community informed and up to date on the latest and most important topics and issues surrounding your oral health. Over the course of this summer we have produced a regular series of blog posts, answering many questions that our patients, friends, and colleagues have asked us about diseases and conditions that can affect our teeth, gums, and our entire bodies. In case you are only now discovering our blog, or if you have missed a post or two, take a look at this handy guide to our last nine weeks of blogs. In order to receive timely blog updates and other news and announcements from Weisbard Dental, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn!
The Connection Between Oral Health and Overall Health
We began our summer series with a blog that discussed the connection between your oral health and overall health. The continuing research into the overall health effects of poor oral health has revealed that problems in your mouth can have a direct link to more serious medical problems in other parts of your body, and ignoring your teeth and gums can result in more serious consequences for your health and even your quality of life than rotting teeth or inflamed gums.
The Link Between Poor Oral Health, Type 2 Diabetes, and Dementia
Type 2 diabetes, or adult onset diabetes, and dementia have both been linked to poor oral health, specifically periodontal disease. Both of these conditions can directly lead to gingivitis, advanced periodontal disease and periodontitis, a severe gum infection. The bacteria from your mouth can then attack major organs in other parts of the body, leading to serious life-altering and life-threatening diseases and conditions.
What is Periodontal Disease?
At this point, you may be asking, what is periodontal disease? Periodontal disease is a somewhat intimidating term that may be unfamiliar to many people, but the effects of this condition, which is more commonly referred to as gum disease, can range from mild inflammation of the gums to a serious condition that can directly result in tooth loss.
Baby Boomers and Periodontal Disease
According to the Academy of General Dentistry, 63 percent of baby boomers may not be aware that problems with their teeth and gums may be linked to a wider and more serious problem with their overall health. Seniors may be avoiding regular checkups and cleanings at the dentist for the same reason as younger patients, leading to dental appointments that are postponed, cancelled or avoided altogether.
Periodontal Disease and Prenatal Dangers
The dangers and risks of consuming alcohol, tobacco and other drugs and dangerous materials during pregnancy are well known, and the vast majority of expectant mothers understand that strictly abstaining from such products and substances during pregnancy can help ensure a complication-free delivery and a healthier baby. However, fewer expectant mothers may be aware of the risks that periodontal disease can pose to their pregnancy.
Periodontal Disease and Erectile Dysfunction
Did you know that erectile dysfunction (ED) has been added to this list of diseases and conditions linked to periodontal disease? A 2012 study by Turkish researchers revealed that slightly more than half of the men they studied between the ages of 30 and 40 with ED also suffered from chronic periodontitis.
Periodontal Disease and Bad Breath
Erectile dysfunction isn’t the only condition linked to periodontal disease causing domestic discord – according to research cited by Wikipedia, halitosis, or bad breath, is one of the most cited reasons for seeking dental care. It seems that complaints and even temporary shunning by spouses, partners, and family members may just be a strong motivating force for many to visit the dentist!
Your Child’s Healthy Diet Can Help Prevent Cavities
If your child is not receiving a full spectrum of nutrients found in a full and balanced diet, their body may not be able to fully resist infections in the mouth, which can in turn cause tooth decay and periodontal diseases to worsen. Providing healthier foods and beverages for your child can also help prevent cavities and other conditions and problems with their teeth and gums.
Fluoride, Bottled Water, and Your Child’s Oral Health
Finally, food shouldn’t be your only concerned when it comes to your child’s oral health – did you know major brands of bottled water are fluoride-free, and the dramatic rise in the consumption of bottled water is believed to be a contributing factor to a rise in cavities in children? Parents should be aware of all of the facts regarding fluoride and bottled water in order to make an informed decision for their children.
We hope that this blog series has informed you about the dangers of periodontal disease and how your mouth is a window to the rest of your body. If you are concerned about your oral health, please do not hesitate to contact the experts at Weisbard Dental today!