Healthy mouth – healthy body
Everybody knows that it is important to look after the health of the mouth. With regular dental checkups and good brushing, we can prevent caries and periodontal disease.
But the mouth is not independent from the rest of the body! As unlikely as it may sound, periodontitis can negatively affect our overall health. Research shows, that there is interaction between the health of the mouth and conditions such as diabetes, smoking, pregnancy, heart disease and much more.
In some cases, certain diseases can be identified by characteristic changes in the oral cavity, well before the disease appears in the rest of the body.
Periodontitis and Heart
It is widely known that some bacteria can affect the heart. The same counts for the bacteria inside the dental plaque.
Recent research has shown that people infected with periodontitis are more prone to heart disease and are twice as prone to suffer a serious heart attack, than those who have healthy gums.
It is proven that people who suffer with diabetes stand almost three times the chance to be infected with periodontal disease.
Recently we have indications that there is a two way relation, namely that periodontitis can affect the treatment of diabetes negatively.
The smooth course of a pregnancy can be threatened by certain factors, such as smoking, alcohol consumption, drug abuse, and so on.
Recently we have more indications that women who are infected with periodontal disease, stand seven times more the chance to give birth prematurely and to deliver a baby weighting less than normal.
Smoking affects not only our general health but also the health of our mouth. Let’s not forget that the cancer of the tongue, the mouth floor and the gums is related to smoking. Smoking is one of the chief causes of starting and developing periodontitis, because smokers have more dental calculus accumulated on their teeth, deeper pockets in their gums and more extended bone loss and recession of periodontal tissue.
Recent research has shown that smoking is maybe the main reason for developing periodontal disease. Smokers stand double the chance of loosing all of their teeth after the age of 65, compared to non smokers! Periodontal treatment is not as effective to smokers, because the substances that are traced inside the tobacco have a negative affect on the healing potential and on the regeneration of the periodontal tissues.
The good news is that if somebody quits smoking, within fifteen years his body will be completely free of tobacco, as if he had never been a smoker!
We may not be able to fully explain all these interesting observations. Yet we should not forget that: The health of the body begins with the health of the mouth!
The mouth is the mirror of our health!