How Other Health Issues Affect Your Oral Health
Every part of your body is intricately interconnected.
This means that changes in the health of one system impact the health of other systems.
As your dentist in Corapolis, PA, Dr. Rupert is an important part of your family’s health care team, and he takes your overall health very seriously. It’s been said that your oral health is actually a mirror that reflects your overall health, and we pay close attention to what we see in that mirror.
Here are three ways your oral health and overall health interact and influence each other:
1. Periodontal Disease – The Oral-Systemic Link: Researchers recently discovered that there is a close association between periodontal disease and other serious health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, respiratory disease, and even Alzheimer’s disease. It’s also been shown that women with periodontal disease are more likely to give birth prematurely to babies with low birth weights. It’s easy to see that this is a major concern. While we don’t know the exact culprit for sure, a key suspect is the bacteria that are present in periodontal disease and the inflammation they cause. This is why we take a full health history for each new patient and work so tirelessly to prevent and/or treat periodontal disease in our patients.
2. Health Conditions and Dry Mouth: Many health conditions and medications slow down saliva production. Unfortunately, saliva is an important part of your oral health and knocking this system out of balance can have some unfortunate consequences.
Dry mouth can lead to:
- Periodontal disease (there’s that nasty one again)
- Bad breath
- Fungal infections, like thrush
- Nutritional challenges
Dry mouth can be treated with the addition of saliva replacement and other products, so it’s important to let us know of any health conditions or medications you are taking.
3. Mental Health and Your Oral Care: It’s not just physical health challenges that can affect your dental health. For instance, stress and anxiety may lead to chronic teeth grinding or clenching, which can cause erosion, changes in your bite, pain in your jaw joints, and cracked or fractured teeth. Depression can lead to reduced self-care, meaning that you may skip out on brushing and flossing your teeth and increase your risk for decay or periodontal disease.
Talk to Your Coraopolis PA Dental Office
If you experience mental health concerns that are affecting your ability to self-care, please don’t be embarrassed or ashamed. These problems are more common than you think, and they are not your fault.
Let us know and talk to your primary health care provider as well so you can get the care you need.