The state of your mouth can be a good indication of your overall health. Oral issues, such as infections, can travel to your organs through your bloodstream, and also affect your immune system. Avoiding the dentist can not only lead to oral health issues, it can also cause some serious health issues. Your mouth is the gateway to the rest of your body, and maintaining proper hygiene is of utmost importance to maintaining full health.
What Your Mouth Says About Your Health
A number of medical conditions have oral signs and symptoms. It is of utmost importance to visit your dentist regularly as many dentists in the Beverly Hills area are able to spot the early signs of these systemic diseases in your mouth. These conditions include:
- Gastrointestinal Diseases: Your mouth is the gateway to your gastrointestinal system and diseases such as colitis, Crohn’s, and liver disease can reveal themselves in your mouth through lesions and gum issues.
- Heart Disease: A shockingly high percentage of people with heart disease also have some sort of gum condition. If your gums are not in good health it may be indicative of a much larger problem.
- Nutritional Deficiencies: These deficiencies are often revealed through the gums and periodontal issues.
- Blood Cell Disorders: Issues with blood cell count, platelets and your blood also manifest themselves in the gums or through sores and lesions.
- Lung Diseases: Almost every case of pulmonary disease exhibits some sort of oral issue. Gingivitis and lesions (particularly on the palate) are common when a patient has some sort of lung condition.
- HIV and AIDS: One of the primary symptoms of HIV is oral lesions. Numerous sexually transmitted infections also manifest themselves in the oral cavity.
- Neurological Disease: These conditions can cause symptoms such as nodular lesions to appear on the tongue, lips, gums, as well as the jawbone.
- Skin Disease: Diseases such as psoriasis can cause a swelling of the lips, gums, tongue, and lining of the cheeks.
- Diabetes: This disorder is most commonly related to periodontal (gum) issues as well as lesions within the mouth. Failure to resolve your periodontal issues can further worsen your diabetes as an infection of the gums can oftentimes lead to disrupted blood sugar control.
Many of the oral symptoms caused by these diseases cause discomfort and pain. If you are experiencing any sign of oral pain, you should visit your dentist to determine and control its cause.
How Poor Oral Heath Can Affect Your Whole Body
In contrast, not properly maintaining your oral health can lead to severe medical conditions. A build-up of plaque can spawn bacteria in your mouth and can lead to periodontal disease like gingivitis. Not only do these types of dental disease cause oral inflammation, the bacteria can spread throughout your bloodstream and cause inflammation throughout the body. If inflammation occurs in your arteries, specifically the carotid artery, your chances of having an heart attack or stroke increase.
Gingivitis is also dangerous in expectant mothers. A mother’s risk of a preterm delivery can increase if she has gingivitis. If the bacteria from the mouth travels to the uterus, it can cause hormone fluctuations and a premature birth. To learn more about the oral care for pregnant women read our blog post on pregnancy gingivitis.
Gum conditions have also been linked to osteoporosis, obesity, and a worsening of several lung issues. Harmful bacteria has no place in our bodies, and your best method of defending it is routine oral care. To schedule a dental exam or cleaning in Beverly Hills contact the office of Dr. Rodney Raanan, DDS, MMSc.