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The Impact Of Oral Health To Our Body

Woman smiling before brushing her teeth

 

The jaw cracks and the neck is tense – a feeling with which many people wake up in the morning. And the reason why more and more people are using a splint against teeth grinding for sleeping. Almost everyone has heard that crunching can trigger tension and headaches. What is less well known is that other dental problems can also hurt the rest of the body.

The dental team from Sky Dental explained to us what influence the health of our teeth has on that of our body and why gum inflammation plays a major role in this.

Problems with the teeth

Caries are still the number one dental disease in Germany. They and gingivitis, the so-called gingivitis, arise from a lack of dental hygiene. A disease independent of dental hygiene is tooth erosion. This is the destruction of the tooth substance – triggered by the consumption of acidic foods such as soft or energy drinks, but also by regular heartburn. These diseases can be treated well by the dentist and usually have only limited consequences for our general health. The worse effects on the body have periodontitis.

What is periodontitis?

Periodontitis is an inflammation of the periodontium. This is the tissue around the tooth. Periodontitis is an excessive immune response of the body. If the body wants to ward off unwanted bacteria in the mouth, inflammation of the gums is the result. In contrast to gingivitis, however, periodontitis attacks the bone in which the teeth are embedded. This creates so-called gum pockets around the tooth. Bacteria accumulate in them, which then trigger further inflammation and thus damage the periodontium.

From the mouth to the whole body – effects of periodontitis

The bacteria of periodontitis and also the inflammatory reaction is not limited to the mouth. Instead, both enter the entire body via the bloodstream and can cause immense damage there. So you can say:

“Sick periodontium, sick person”

 

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Thus, experts have found that there is even a link between periodontitis and Alzheimer’s. In Alzheimer’s disease, inflammatory deposits in the brain occur, causing nerve cells to die. This so-called neurodegeneration can be initiated by periodontal bacteria.

In addition, they can also trigger inflammation of the vessels. Consequences of this can be various cardiovascular diseases, such as high blood pressure, calcification of the arteries, disturbances in the blood circulation of the arms and legs, to a heart attack.

In pregnant women, periodontitis can even lead to premature birth. The reason for this is that the bacteria and the inflammatory mediators they trigger enter the uterus via the bloodstream and can thus trigger premature birth.

In addition, the bacteria can cause pneumonia in people with a weak immune system or bedridden people, among other things.

For this reason, these groups of people should pay particular attention to adequate oral hygiene and go to the dentist as early as possible to exclude or treat possible periodontitis.

Diabetes – a relationship of a special kind

There is one disease that has a special effect on periodontitis: diabetes. In contrast to high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s, etc., the two diseases influence each other. “This goes both ways,” explains the expert. “A lack of dental hygiene can promote diabetes. And if you have diabetes, get periodontitis faster.” But how does it work? The bacteria that enter the bloodstream through periodontitis inhibit the important hormone insulin. In diabetes, on the other hand, inflammatory bacteria are released, which increases periodontitis.
However, the two diseases also affect recovery. It has been proven that if periodontitis improves, diabetes usually does the same. And if the blood glucose levels of a diabetic patient improve, this has a healing effect on his diseased gums.

How to recognize periodontitis

Treating periodontitis is complicated – especially if it is already advanced. That’s why you should quickly visit your dentist for these symptoms:

  • Bleeding gums: If something is wrong with your gums, the easiest way to recognize it is bleeding gums. Usually, this goes away after a few days and more concentrated brushing. In the case of periodontitis, however, not.
  • Bad breath: If the body fends off unwanted bacteria with gingivitis, the resulting pus leads to a somewhat sweet bad breath, which can not be brushed away.
  • Loosened teeth: With advanced periodontitis, the periodontium is so damaged that even teeth can loosen.

Many dental problems can be recognized by toothache or gum pain. With periodontitis, however, pain often occurs hardly or not at all. That’s why it’s important to take the other symptoms seriously and go to the dentist earlier than usual.