10 Unexpected Health Benefits of Taking Care of Your Teeth and Gums

Ignoring your oral health can cause bacteria and plaque to build up on your teeth and gums. When left untreated, plaque hardens into tartar and gingivitis develops. Gingivitis is the earliest stage of periodontal or gum disease.

Symptoms of periodontal disease include:

Without treatment, gum disease can cause serious dental problems, including tooth decay, oral infections, and tooth loss. Unfortunately, the dangers of periodontal disease don’t stop there. The bacterial infection responsible for periodontal disease can spread beyond just your gum line, infecting the surrounding tissue and eventually contaminating your whole body.

Fortunately, good oral health can prevent all of that. Here are just a few ways that taking care of your teeth and gums can benefit your overall health and wellness:

1. Lower risk of heart disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. If the bacterial infection in your mouth enters your bloodstream, it can build up in your arteries and harden. This buildup leads to a dangerous condition called atherosclerosis, a serious form of heart disease.

2.   Reduced joint inflammation

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) develops when you have inflammation in your joints, heart and blood vessels, and other body systems. Oral bacteria can introduce inflammation to your entire body, increasing your chances of developing RA or other inflammatory conditions.

3.   Healthier pregnancy

Both mild and severe gum disease is directly linked to pregnancy risks like low birth weights and early deliveries. Researchers suspect the body naturally fights the bacteria in your body, which may lead to premature labor.

4.   Improved sexual performance

Ignoring your teeth and gums can lead to erectile dysfunction in men. When gum disease bacteria enter the bloodstream, it causes inflammation in your blood vessels. As blood vessels become inflamed, the blood flow to your genitals declines, affecting your ability to get or sustain an erection.

5.   Better respiratory health

Your bloodstream isn’t the only way bacteria enter your body. Every time you breathe, bacteria go directly to your lungs. Once inside your lungs, oral bacteria increase your risk of respiratory infections like pneumonia and bronchitis.

6.   Minimized risks for certain cancers

Gum disease increases your risks for all types of cancer, especially cancers in the blood. These increases may be due to the inflammation in your body caused by oral bacteria.

7.   Improved fertility

Not only can periodontal disease cause fertility issues in women, it can also negatively affect fertility treatments. This is likely due to the impact gum disease has on the hormones progesterone and estrogen.

8.   Protection for your brain cells

The bacteria in your mouth aren’t the only danger associated with gum disease. If you have tartar buildup, your mouth also releases substances that kill your brain cells. Combining this with the oral bacteria entering your nerve channels and bloodstream, your risks of Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss increase.

9.   Lower risk for kidney disease

Not only can oral bacteria lead to chronic kidney disease, it can also increase the risk of death in older adults who already suffer from the condition.

10. Reduced risk of diabetes complications

Having gum disease makes it harder to manage your blood sugar levels, which can make diabetes more difficult to control. If your periodontal disease is more advanced, you might also experience increased blood sugar production.

The most important step to protecting your teeth, gums, and overall health is practicing good oral hygiene through regular brushing and flossing. It’s also essential to have regular professional cleanings to remove dangerous tartar buildup. Dr. Nataly Vilderman also offers treatment solutions to address all stages of periodontal disease.

To maximize the unexpected benefits that come from taking care of your teeth and gums, call Nataly Vilderman DDS or schedule an appointment online today.

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