Medical conditions impacting dental health

Brushing, flossing and seeing the dentist are common practices for many patients. However, your dental health is linked to your general health and many medical conditions can have a negative impact on it.

Most people are aware of the importance of brushing and flossing frequently when they are young. But many people are unaware that maintaining good oral health is essential to maintaining overall health, especially for people with specific medical conditions.

Your dentist looks for more than just cavities when you visit for a standard dental exam. This is because abnormalities in the mouth can indicate problems throughout the body. Check out these 11 medical conditions that could affect your dental health if you desire a healthy body and mouth.

Diseases associated with poor dental health

High blood pressure

If you have high blood pressure, you’re more likely to get gum disease, which increases your risk of red, swollen, and bleeding gums. The effects of blood pressure medications on your gums and dry mouth can contribute to tooth decay. Discuss treatment options with your doctor and dentist if you have high blood pressure. A type of blood pressure medication known as an ACE inhibitor can help maintain both your blood pressure and your oral health.

Diabetes

Your body’s ability to handle sugar is affected by diabetes. Medical care and a restricted diet can help you manage it. However, if left unchecked, it can lead to various problems, including rapid aging of the kidneys, eyes, nerves, and blood vessels, as well as some problems with your mouth, such as:

A decrease in saliva makes your mouth extremely dry.

Due to a lack of saliva, there are more cavities. Your teeth need saliva to prevent cavities.

The thickening of the blood vessels, which causes the gums to swell and bleed, reduces the gum tissue’s ability to fight infection.

Diabetes can cause cuts or cold sores in the mouth to heal more slowly.

Since high levels of glucose can promote the growth of germs and create the conditions for an infection, you are more likely to develop an oral infection.

The good news is that by getting therapy for one, diabetes and gum disease can be improved.

Cardiovascular problems

There are hundreds of different types of bacteria in your mouth. The ability of your mouth to repel pathogenic microorganisms depends on its state of health. However, you lose this ability when you have gum disease, infection, or another problem in your mouth. Numerous studies have established a link between periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, and cardiovascular disease. Infection and inflammation caused by bacteria in your mouth have been linked to heart disease, clogged arteries, and even strokes.

Endocarditis, an infection of the heart, is another cardiovascular problem related to dental health. Bacteria in the circulation that cling to vulnerable points in the heart are usually the culprits. In the event that your mouth’s usual defenses are compromised, these bacteria could have come from there. How can you stop it? You should pay close attention to your dental health, brush and floss frequently, and have regular dental checkups.

Cancer

People with cancer who have oral problems represent more than a third of the population. Cancer and its therapies weaken your immune system, which makes infections more likely, especially if your gums are in poor condition. Chronic illnesses like ongoing or undetected cancer can have a significant impact on your dental health. Here are some examples of cancer treatment side effects that can affect your mouth:

  1. Mouth sores
  2. sore mouth
  3. delicate gums
  4. jaw pain

Anemia

Anemic patients have an insufficient number of red blood cells, which is a serious problem since red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body. The gums are one of the first places where you might experience symptoms and struggles, as less oxygen is getting to your body tissues due to the decreased number of red blood cells. Anemic gums are often pale rather than pink, and since there is less blood circulation, sores and infections can be difficult to treat. You may have tongue pain, redness of the tongue or swelling of the tongue/glands if you have anemic gums.

Osteoporosis

Because osteoporosis makes your bones brittle and weaker, it can also lead to bone loss in your teeth. Your teeth may eventually fall out because they break as they deteriorate. Additionally, several medications used to treat osteoporosis can damage the jawbones.

Chronic kidney disease

Chronic kidney disease and serious gum problems are linked in two ways. Gum disease is linked to chronic kidney disease, heart disease, and high blood pressure, all of which can result from chronic kidney disease. Chronic gum infection can also lead to inflammation in other parts of the body, which can worsen the effects on your kidneys. Everyone should take care of their teeth and gums, but a small infection in the mouth can get worse if you have kidney disease. Take the best possible care of your mouth and visit the dentist frequently.

Lung cancer

Gum disease, which increases the amount of harmful bacteria in the mouth, has been linked to lung conditions such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), bronchitis and pneumonia. Your lungs can become infected with the germs, leading to lung disease. Work with your dentist to maintain healthy gums and let your doctor know if you have lung symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, or gum disease. If you smoke, talk to your dentist or doctor about a quit plan, as smoking exacerbates these problems.

acid reflux

Dentists frequently identify gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), also known as acid reflux, because dental erosion is one of the main symptoms of the disease. The acidic contents of the stomach rise in the mouth and gradually erode the enamel of the teeth. Protect your teeth during a reflux episode by gargling with plenty of water or chewing sugar-free gum to increase saliva production and neutralize oral acid. Brushing your teeth right after reflux can damage enamel that has already been compromised by the acid.

Autoimmune diseases

Many germs that grow in the mouth can harm your overall health. There are 500 distinct species of bacteria in our mouths, some of which can lead to periodontal disease. Many oral health problems are linked to autoimmune diseases like lupus. Lupus is only the beginning of the disease; poor oral hygiene can make it worse. Regular dental checkups with a knowledgeable dentist can help identify and resolve any issues that may arise with a chronic condition like lupus. Chronic disease and dental health have similar risk factors, and general health issues can exacerbate or create oral health issues.

Bulimia and anorexia

Strong stomach acid repeatedly dripping down your teeth is caused by frequent vomiting. As a result, the teeth can change color, become brittle, transparent and weak, and their enamel can be damaged. In extreme circumstances, the pulp can be exposed and infected. Excessively brushing your teeth or washing your mouth after vomiting can make tooth decay worse.

The key is prevention

Patients should brush and floss their teeth daily, let their dentist know their condition, and schedule routine check-ups because, in many situations, regular preventive dental care can help alleviate many of the effects. oral side effects of these medical conditions.