For some people going to the dentist is like pulling teeth. However, by ignoring your oral health for prolonged periods of times can end up with problems far beyond the stained teeth. Besides gum disease and oral cancer there are a number of health problems that you may not know which can be traced back to having poor dental hygiene or damaged and missing teeth.
Let us now check out the seven lesser known conditions which can be caused by skipping your dental appointments:
Weight Gain or Obesity
If you have damaged, missing or even painful teeth means that you are not chewing your food properly or you are limiting the types of food you can eat. Most adults have 32 teeth however as per the Canadian Obesity Network, if you have 21 teeth or less then you are at higher risk of obesity due to your inability to chew meals properly. Part of the problem is that you may be partial to the foods which can be chewed easily such as high-fat options like fast food. On the other hand, foods which are nutritious and high in fiber aren’t so easy to swallow when your teeth aren’t up to the job.
Higher Risk of Diabetes
As per the UK’s Daily Mail, tooth loss is linked to higher risk to develop diabetes, to be more precise it’s an 11% higher risk. This is because of inflammation in the bloodstream. Diabetes is the inability of the body to regulate the blood sugar that can lead to more serious health problems. To make matters worse, once you have diabetes your chance to develop more serious oral health issues by actually increases as well. According to Mayo Clinic, having higher blood sugar leads to more teeth decay, gum disease and other oral conditions.
Greater Chance of Heart Disease
You may not believe but there is an association between the teeth and heart. The American Dental Association (ADA) says that there are a number of studies which link the poor oral health with the poor heart health, though the reasons for this are not exactly known yet. Without hard scientific evidence to support if bad oral hygiene contributes to weaker heart, the ADA says that you should still regard the gums and teeth as the gateway to diseases which affect the heart. More studies are being conducted by various groups to prove this connection.
Risk of Low Birth Weight
According to Health Canada, “If you are pregnant women with poor oral health or gum disease can not only affect you but also your next generation.” The Canadian government states that currently studies are underway to link the poor oral health to premature births and low birth weight. As per Health Canada, “Pre-term babies are at high risk to face infections, develop barriers, abnormalities or even infant death.”
Weakening of the Bones
Osteoporosis is a serious condition which makes your bones brittle such that you are much more likely to suffer a serious injury due to a fall or even from carrying out their daily routine. The Mayo Clinic says there may be a link between osteoporosis affecting your entire body and the loss of teeth and periodontal bone which supports the teeth. Many studies have supported the fact that people with periodontal bone deficiencies and tooth loss tend to show the signs of a weakening skeleton in other parts of the body.
Possible Respiratory Complications
As per Health Canada, some breathing problems are linked to gum disease which is caused by plaque, a layer of bacteria that isn’t friendly to your mouth. Bad bacteria can make its way from your mouth to your lungs which is bad news for those with existing respiratory ailments and also those who previously had healthy lungs.
More Chance of Developing Dementia
Without the regular supervision of a dentist, even your mental health can be negatively affected. The Alzheimer’s Society points out the significance to maintain oral health as this will help to stave off the effects of Dementia that causes memory loss and confusion.
One thing is clear that the body and mouth are not separate. Your body can affect mouth and vice versa. So take good care of your teeth and gums which will help your to live longer. Visit your dental professional regularly for cleanings and prevention and treatment of cavities as this will protect more than just your teeth as it can save your life.