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One More Reason for Good Dental Hygiene

by |March 10, 2016

Good Dental Hygiene is imperative if you want to keep your teeth for the rest of your life.

Your La Jolla dentist read a recent story at MSN health & fitness about a 58-year-old sales manager whose boss sent him home from work one day because he “wasn’t at his best on the sales floor.”

A few hours later Mike Bell of McKinney, Texas, collapsed on his way to X-ray. Emergency personnel rushed him into surgery where they discovered “bacteria from an infected tooth had spread to his bloodstream, and caused him to tear his aorta when he coughed. His coughing, in turn, was filling his lungs with blood.”

While this is an extreme case of dental problems causing medical complications, your San Diego dentist and other dental professionals have long been aware of a connection between overall health and dental health.

Good Dental Hygiene for Overall Health

Bacteria are a natural part of our human makeup. Most are harmless. Your body’s natural defenses control them daily. However, left to their own devices they can multiply and lead to infections.

Normal dental care keeps bacteria at a healthy level. Daily brushing and flossing along with regular dental checkups by your La Jolla dentist can keep tooth decay and gum disease under control. Without Good Dental Hygiene, bacteria may cause inflammation and infections that lower your body’s resistance. Conversely, people with certain diseases may be at an increased risk of dental problems.

Oral Health and Disease

Sometimes we think of our San Diego dentist and medical professional as separate. After all, we see our dentist for our oral hygiene and our primary care physician for the rest of our body. However, your dentist is no different from any other specialist you might see.

Therefore, there are diseases of the body that might interact with diseases of the mouth. These include:

  • Cardiovascular Disease including heart disease, stroke, and endocarditis may be linked to oral bacteria inflammation and infections.
  • Diabetes reduces your resistance to infection. As a result, many diabetics run the risk of increased gum disease and people with gum disease generally find it more difficult to control their blood sugar levels.
  • HIV/AIDS often leads to a weakened immune system. The result is oral problems such as lesions and warts.
  • Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and brittle, and therefore, may affect your jawbone and lead to tooth loss.
  • Alzheimer’s disease is more likely to occur in those with tooth loss before the age of 35. Specifically, a study suggests, “developing periodontal disease early in life is associated with a particular risk for developing Alzheimer’s as older adults.”

Additionally, medications associated with these and other medical conditions may affect your Good Dental Hygiene. Be sure to inform your La Jolla dentist of your medical history before starting treatment.