The Link between Systemic Disease and Your Oral Health

The best way to keep your smile healthy is by brushing and flossing properly and seeing the dentist regularly. In addition to maintaining ideal oral health, there are additional benefits to making sure your teeth and gums are in good condition.

When you keep your routinely scheduled dental appointments, the dentist can detect certain signs that signal underlying issues. Also, when you take good care of your smile, you are preventing harmful oral bacteria from traveling to other areas of your body to potentially cause systemic disease.

Recent university studies have established a clear link between the health of your smile and your overall well-being.


Exams as Screenings

When performing an oral exam, dentists also look for possible signs of illness that can appear in the mouth. Your dentist will discuss any suspicious sores, spots, or discoloration that may need further investigation, and recommend that you visit your primary care physician or a specialist.

Some conditions that may be discovered first by a dentist include:

Stress – Teeth grinding (bruxism) and TMJ pain are often caused by stress.

Diabetes – Gum disease that is resistant to treatment or advances quickly may indicate diabetes. Diabetics are also prone to developing gum disease.

Skin Disease – Autoimmune diseases that affect your skin may present itself in the soft tissues of the mouth. 

Gastrointestinal Disease – Chronic sores or ulcers in the mouth along with abdominal pain can indicate ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s Disease.

Oral Cancer – Dentists are trained to spot suspicious lesions that may be the first sign of oral cancer. 

Heart and Lung Disease – In the case of severe gum disease, special attention should be given to your heart and lungs, especially if you are having any correlating symptoms. This is because of the many studies that show a link between the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease, and the risk of cardiac and respiratory infection.


A Look at the Bacteria that Causes Decay

Bacteria originating in the mouth are especially potent and thrive on carbohydrates and sugars that are left behind after eating and drinking. 

When these bacteria are allowed to accumulate because of poor oral hygiene or gum disease, they can be inhaled or absorbed into the body through small breaks in your gums or other soft tissue. In diabetes, the illness itself increases the risk of periodontal disease, and conversely, gum disease can exacerbate illnesses like diabetes and heart disease. 


Knowledge is Power When it comes to Oral Health

Understanding the relationship between oral health and overall wellness makes going to the dentist all the more important. Proper dental care should one of the steps you take to ensure your total well-being.

Call Loudoun Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in Leesburg, VA to Learn More

For a thorough consultation with dentists that are committed to your overall wellness as well as your smile, contact our office. The warm and friendly staff at Loudoun Family & Cosmetic Dentistry are eager to answer your questions.

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