Pendleton IN Dentist Shares 3 Diseases Adversely Affecting Oral Health
In recent decades, it has become increasingly well documented that the mouth is inextricably linked to all parts of the body. Furthermore, it has been proven that many diseases can affect oral health, and vice versa. For this reason, regular dental care is now known to be more important than ever before. If you suffer from a chronic illness, it is important to know how your oral health can be affected. Here are a few common diseases and the ways they can harm the mouth without diligent care.
Diabetes is a disease affecting millions, and its relationship with oral health has been the subject of tremendous research. What is known is that diabetes can adversely affect oral health in many ways. Some include:
• Dry mouth. Diabetes can reduce salivary flow, which greatly increases the risk of dental decay.
• People with diabetes are far more likely to develop gingivitis and the more advanced stage of gum disease, periodontitis.
• Diabetes reduces the body’s immune system function, leaving the entire mouth vulnerable to bacterial and viral insult.
In recent years, the correlation between heart disease and gum disease has been extensively researched. The majority of studies conducted show that there is a direct link between gum disease and an increased risk of heart disease. When gum disease reaches a moderate to advanced stage, events known as “bacteremias” can occur. This means that bacteria from the mouth can enter the bloodstream, travel to the heart, and implant in the heart. This leads to a number of cardiovascular dysfunctions, including endocarditis, an inflammation of heart muscle.
Cancers of the Head and Neck
Cancers of the head and neck can have an indirect affect on teeth if radiation is used as treatment. Radiation can destroy healthy tissues in the mouth, including salivary glands. A major side effect of radiation is dry mouth, which vastly increases the odds of developing cavities. Patients receiving head and neck radiation are also more likely to contract diseases such as candida albicans, commonly known as “thrush.”
If you suffer from any of the aforementioned diseases, it is important to work in concert with your physician and Pendleton, IN dentist alike. Although it is vital to ensure systemic health, you also need to be certain you are doing all you can to protect your oral health.