We are all familiar with the phrase, “your eyes are the window to your soul”. Well, your Boise dentist at Summit Dental will tell you that your mouth is a window to your overall health. In fact, your oral health is directly connected to many other health conditions beyond your teeth and gums. Many times, initial symptoms of a disease will show up in your mouth first.
In other cases, infections in your mouth, such as gum disease, can cause problems in other areas of your body. Gum disease can actually be directly linked to diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and certain forms of cancer. That’s why we’d like to take a detailed look at some of the diseases and conditions that are linked to your oral health.
Research indicates that several types of cardiovascular disease can be directly linked to your oral health. These include stroke, heart disease, and clogged arteries. In fact, according to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), people who have chronic gum disease are at higher risk to suffer from a heart attack.
Gum disease has been linked to premature birth. Research shows that mothers with gum disease have a greater risk of delivering preterm, low-birth-weight babies. This is why it’s vital to maintain excellent oral health before and during pregnancy.
Research indicates that there is an increased prevalence of gum disease for those who have diabetes. Diabetes has not only been known to increase your risk of gum disease, but tooth loss, dry mouth, cavities, and a variety of other oral infections as well. On the other hand, poor oral health can actually make your diabetes more difficult to control as serious gum disease has the potential to affect blood glucose control while contributing to the progression of diabetes.
Your mouth may be the first part of your body to show signs and symptoms of an HIV infection. Common symptoms include ulcers, dry mouth, and related painful mucosal lesions. People with HIV may also develop persistent white spots or unusual lesions on their tongue or in their mouth. Infections such as candidiasis (thrush), can also be an indicator that your immune system is not working properly – and Boise dental health can be an important indicator of how HIV is affecting your body.
Osteoporosis is a health condition that greatly affects the bones, and may show up in your teeth during the first stages of bone loss. Systemic loss of bone density in osteoporosis, including bone in the jaw, may create a condition where the bone supporting your teeth is increasingly susceptible to infectious destruction. It can also trigger other oral health issues, including gum or periodontal diseases and loss of teeth. Your Boise dentist at Summit Dental may be able to spot this on a routine clinical examination or with dental X-rays.
Many other conditions can make their presence known in your mouth before you know anything may be wrong. These can include certain cancers, eating disorders, and more.
In the end, one thing is clear – your mouth is a window to your overall health. Taking good care of your teeth and gums is imperative when it comes to taking care of your whole body. One of the main things you can do at home is brush and floss daily. Another is to visit your Boise dentist for regular cleanings and checkups.
At Summit Dental, we care about your overall health, especially when it comes to your teeth & gums. Contact us today by filling out our online form or give us a call at (208) 314-2275 for an appointment. We hope to see you soon!