Health and Family

How Tooth Decay Can Affect Your Health

Good oral health is important for more reasons than self confidence and a beautiful smile.

 To date, scientists have found several links between periodontal (gum) disease and a number of other health problems, Although cause and effect is still being established, scientists believe that bacteria from decaying teeth enters the blood stream and targets other parts of the body causing various health problems, including:

Heart disease: Over the years, many studies have found a link between periodontal disease and heart disease. People who have gum disease are more likely to have poor heart health, including heart attacks.

Diabetes: People with diabetes are more likely to have gum disease than people without diabetes, due to inflammation.  Those with diabetes are also more likely to contract infections, including gum disease.

Dementia: Gum disease has been found to raise the risk of dementia later in life. Researchers also found that periodontal problems may be associated with milder cognitive impairment, such as memory problems that make daily activities more difficult. In a recent study, participants who had the worst gum disease, scored the worst on memory tests and calculations.

Cardiovascular Disease Some research has shown that diseases such as high blood pressure, clogged arteries and even stroke may be related to poor dental health. An English study tested 11,000 patients and researched teeth brushing to overall cardiovascular health. The research showed that those who brush less are at a 70 percent greater risk of heart disease.

Symptoms of periodontal disease include bad breath that won’t go away, red or swollen gums, tender or bleeding gums, painful chewing, loose teeth, sensitive teeth, and receding gums.  According to the Center for Disease Control, most oral diseases are preventable.

Regular brushing and flossing combined with biannual dental visits, are the basis of a solid preventative care routine. Also, eating a balanced diet and reducing snacks between meals will keep plaque at bay between dental visits.  Although fear is often a factor for lack of regular dental care, many simply cannot afford the cost. To save money on your next dental visit, go to

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. Make it a great day!

~ Julie Lawrence


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