Do you have a medical condition that’s causing oral health issues to develop? You may be surprised to learn that to improve your wellbeing, the best place to start is your mouth. Countless studies have examined a common concern among many people: “Can my physical health have an impact on my oral health?” After years of collecting research, various studies have concluded that mental, physical, and oral health are all connected to each other by two-way streets. Read on to learn more about how general health issues could be impacting your teeth and gums.
Many people aren’t aware that diabetes and gum disease, one of the most common oral health problems in the nation, are deeply connected. According to a study conducted by the New York University, researchers found that an overwhelming majority of patients who have been diagnosed with gum disease are at a higher risk for diabetes, and vice versa. The reason for this is that oral conditions like gum disease make it more difficult for your body to process insulin.
On the flip side, people with diabetes can also have a difficult time producing saliva to wash away food particles, sugar, and acids from their mouth, increasing their risk of developing gum disease. This two-way relationship makes it important to control blood sugar levels and regularly visit the dentist for checkups and cleanings.
HIV is a virus that causes AIDS, which stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Because this contracted virus impacts the ability to fight off harmful infection-causing bacteria, it can allow them to accumulate and cause problems in the mouth, including gum disease, canker sores, fever blisters, and thrush. These oral conditions can be painful, uncomfortable, and result in even more problems down the road. That’s why it’s important for patients who have HIV/AIDS to establish a thorough dental hygiene routine and visit their dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.
Patients with asthma can experience oral health problems due to two main factors, including the types of medication you use, as well as frequent coughing caused by asthma attacks. Inhalers that contain bronchodilators and corticosteroids can cause cavities, especially when they’re used on a daily basis. Asthma attacks can also trigger aggressive coughing that causes acid reflux and enamel erosion that leaves your teeth defenseless. If you suffer from this condition, it’s important to receive routine checkups to prevent cavity formation caused by medications and acid reflux.
If you smoke cigarettes, excessively consume alcohol, or take any type of drug, it can cause damage to your teeth and gums. Each of these can inhibit your mouth’s ability to fight off harmful oral bacteria that are responsible for causing oral health issues and attacking your gums. It can be difficult to completely cut these substances out of your life, although that would be the best decision for your overall and oral health. However, with regular visits to your dentist and a thorough dental hygiene routine, you can prevent issues from progressing and getting worse.
If you have any of these conditions or health issues, be sure to address them with your dentist during your next checkup and cleaning. They can help you develop a detailed oral hygiene plan that will keep health problems at bay and improve your overall wellbeing.
About the Author
Dr. Benjamin Naylor is passionate about helping each one of his patients maintain healthy and beautiful smiles that they’re proud of. He understands the connection between the mouth and a patient’s overall wellbeing, which is why he places focus on providing thorough and high-quality preventive treatments. He routinely pursues continuing education courses to sharpen his skills and stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in his field. For questions or to schedule a routine checkup and cleaning, visit Mountain Stream Dental’s website or call 541-345-5363.