It is very important to take good care of your mouth, because your oral health can have effects on your overall health. If you are good about your oral hygiene, you can reduce your risk of certain health conditions. On the flip side, if you don’t have the best oral hygiene, you might be at risk for some potentially serious whole-body conditions. We share three health problems that are linked to poor dental habits in today’s blog.
The American Heart Association recognizes that there is a link between gum disease and the onset of heart disease. Research presented at the American Society for Microbiology’s annual meeting found that certain bacteria that cause gum disease can increase a person’s risk for heart disease. Although the study involved mice, not humans, the results showed that when mice had elevated levels of this bacteria in their mouth, they were more likely to have rising cholesterol and inflammation, two big risk factors for heart disease.
Another scientific study found that the same bacteria that contributes to periodontal disease also leads to an earlier onset of rheumatoid arthritis. Not only does it lead to its development, but it also contributes to faster and more severe disease progression. The bacteria that causes periodontal disease leads to an inflammatory response from the body, and this regular triggering of inflammation can actually lead to joint problems like rheumatoid arthritis.
Finally, advanced gum disease can also be a sign that dementia could be in your future. Research has found that individuals with advanced gum disease (periodontitis) experience cognitive decline six times faster than individuals without the mouth condition. Similar to rheumatoid arthritis, antibodies in periodontal bacteria are associated with the onset of inflammation, which can speed up the progression of dementia. However, we’ll end on a positive note. There’s reason to believe that actively treating your gum disease can help to treat and slow down the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.