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Is There A Link Between Dental Health And Overall Wellbeing?

Did you know that when you take care of your teeth and gums by applying all that your dentist in Tunbridge Wells recommends for good oral hygiene, you are not only avoiding all those nasty dental issues, but you are also protecting your overall health? Not many people are aware that the benefits of good oral health extend far beyond the mouth.

Researchers are quickly uncovering the ill effects of dental diseases such as gum disease on the body. Data suggests that almost half of UK adults suffer from periodontitis, an advanced stage of gum disease, with 60 per cent of that group aged over 65.

Why gum disease is a problem

Gums play an important role in keeping teeth secure and stable. When disease sets in the gums, this is a threat to teeth health too – the possibility of tooth loss is magnified.

At the heart of gum disease is poor oral hygiene control. When oral hygiene is not maintained properly, this gives an opportunity for the population of bad bacteria to rise, and it is this bad bacterium that is responsible for the progression of gum disease.

Research suggests that periodontal bacteria do not limit themselves only to the mouth. As the mouth is the entryway into the rest of the body, these harmful pathogens make their way into the bloodstream where they travel to land in the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.

Patients suffering from cardiovascular and inflammatory respiratory diseases have been found to have higher levels of oral bacteria. Once in the vessels and arteries, these bad oral bacteria cause blood clots and trigger inflammatory conditions that result in potentially fatal illnesses like strokes, heart attacks, diabetic complications and pneumonia.

Gum disease is also linked to an increased risk of a number of other health conditions. Women who are pregnant and suffer from gum disease are even more encouraged to seek treatment for their dental disease. Studies have drawn links between gum disease and complications with pregnancies such as low birth weight and premature births.

The negative impact on mental health is another grave concern. People with gum disease are more at risk of mental health illnesses like depression, anxiety disorders and Alzheimer’s. In addition to this, there are adverse effects on psychosocial health where consequences of gum disease including tooth loss, bad breath and dental mobility can lead to a loss of confidence in social situations.

The loss of an attractive smile due to the loss of teeth or receding gums can have a devastating impact on mental health too. The drop in self-confidence hinders the opportunity of making good first impressions. Negative impressions make finding job opportunities or success in one’s social life an uphill struggle.

Fortunately, no one needs to suffer from unwanted dental diseases. Looking after teeth and gum health, with twice-daily brushing and flossing and routine dental appointments every six months, is the best way to avoid poor oral health issues. Taking a pro-dental stance helps identify minor problems so that these are easily treated to prevent major complications.

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