October 29th, 2009 by wordpress
Oral Health: A Window to Your Overall Health – Part Two
Oral health and other health conditions
Here’s a look at some of the diseases and conditions that may be linked to oral health:
- Cardiovascular disease. Research shows that several types of cardiovascular disease may be linked to oral health. These include heart disease, clogged arteries and stroke. Although in some research periodontal disease seems to be associated with heart disease, more studies are needed before the link can be confirmed with certainty.
- Pregnancy and birth. Gum disease has been linked to premature birth. This is why it’s vital to maintain excellent oral health before you get pregnant and during your pregnancy.
- Diabetes. Diabetes increases your risk of gum disease, cavities, tooth loss, dry mouth and a variety of oral infections. Conversely, poor oral health can make your diabetes more difficult to control. Infections may cause your blood sugar to rise and require more insulin to keep it under control.
- HIV/AIDS. Oral problems are very common if you have HIV/AIDS. Common symptoms include ulcers, dry mouth and related mucosal lesions. Mouth problems are caused by either fungal, viral or bacterial infections and, in some cases, one of the first signs of AIDS may be severe gum infection. You may also develop persistent white spots or unusual lesions on your tongue or in your mouth.
- Osteoporosis. The first stages of bone loss may show up in your teeth. 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. Your dentist may be able to spot this on a routine clinical examination or with dental x-rays. If bone loss worsens, your dentist can suggest that you discuss the issue with your other health care providers.
- Other conditions. Many other conditions may make their presence known in your mouth before you know anything’s wrong. These may include Sjorgens syndrome, certain cancers, eating disorders, syphilis, gonorrhea and substance abuse.
What you can do about oral health
If you didn’t already have enough reasons to take good care of your mouth, teeth and gums, the relationship between your oral health and your overall health provides even more. Resolve to practice good oral hygiene every day. You’re making an investment in your overall health, not just for now, but for the future, too