How Your Oral Health Affects Your General Health
What are the most common public health issues of the modern world?
Most people immediately think of issues such as heart disease, arthritis, or obesity, but there’s a more prevalent problem affecting people of all ages that has a strong influence on general health. The surprising truth is, one of the most common public health issues—poor oral health—can actually increase your risk of developing certain chronic illnesses, making it a more serious problem than it seems.
For example, researchers at Columbia University in the US have found that there’s a link between arterial health and dental health. Why?Because bacterial that live in the mouth can contribute to arterial narrowing, which is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease. As a result, regular brushing and flossing can actually slow down the rate of narrowing, reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Another example of the link between oral health and general health is that poor oral health appears to be a risk factor for dementia, in older people. The exact nature of the link is unclear, but tooth loss is an outcome of advanced gum disease, and some kinds of dementia have similar risk factors to cardiovascular disease. This means the nature of the link may be similar to the link between oral health and cardiovascular health.
Diabetes and oral health also appear to be related in some way. One clear relationship is that people with diabetes have a greater risk of developing gum disease, and that gum disease is harder to treat in diabetics. However, there’s another link, too: poor oral health may actually have an impact on blood sugar levels, and may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes developing, due to levels of systemic inflammation that develop as a result of oral infection.
Poor Oral Health Can Have Major Impacts On the Following Areas Of Your General Health:
- Narrowing of the arteries (see the research reported from Columbia University)
- Possible links to the onset of dementia
- Although not definitive there also appears to be a link between poor oral health and Type 2 diabetes through impacting on blood sugar levels.
For more detailed information please refer to this linked article researched and written by Juliette Garner