Here’s one example. Up to 80% of Americans have gum disease.
Gums that bleed when you floss, appear red, or are swollen or sore to the touch can certainly annoy. But annoyance may not be the most important issue. Bacteria that grow in your gums can spread from your mouth through your bloodstream to other parts of your body. That bacteria can attach to an area of your heart and cause inflammation. What begins as inflammation can lead to an infection of the heart, and even a stroke, according to the American Heart Association. Any of those scenarios could lead to your death.
Even more critical, if you have a compromised immune system due to cancer or other autoimmune diseases, you’re at increased risk of bacteria spreading from your mouth to other organs. What we are saying is this: your oral health is vital for your overall health.
Do you have gum disease? These symptoms may be signs:
- Your gums bleed when you floss, brush or eat
- Your gums are sore to the touch, swollen or red
- You see signs of infection around your gums
- You have frequent or persistent bad breath
- Dry mouth
The best way to protect yourself from gum disease is regular visits to your dentist and hygienist. They routinely do the things that keep your mouth in good shape, and they will be on the lookout for anything suspicious.
In addition to seeing your dental professionals:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft brush
- Floss daily
- Eat a healthy diet
- Reduce or eliminate sugar
- Avoid cigarettes and chewing tobacco
Besides gum disease, other oral issues can pose serious threats. There have been reports of people dying from tooth abscesses* and infections.* If you have a tooth infection, undiagnosed and untreated, you could be putting your health and even your life at risk.
Many people avoid seeing their dentist for years unless they have a toothache. The problem with this is that your dentist may be your first line of defense, noticing signs of a disease before you do. Many diseases have signs that can show up in your mouth.
- Oral or Pancreatic cancer
- Kidney disease
- Heart disease
When you visit your medical doctor, you rarely talk about oral health. Isn’t that true?
Be safe and see your dentist today!
Make an Appointment at Mid Cities Dental - (817) 282-9321
Reference this article when you call and your comprehensive exam will be complimentary. (New patients only. Does not include x-rays or treatment.)
*Articles about other oral dangers to your health
Tooth infection causes blood infection, leads to man's death
Men’s Health: A Tooth Infection Suddenly Killed This 26-Year-Old Guy - Here’s why you shouldn’t ignore a throbbing toothache, either
NYT; Oral Infections Causing More Hospitalizations
Delta Dental Keeping your heart healthy with better oral care