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Dental Care is Imperative to Health


Poor dental care has a greater effect on overall health than many people realize. According to Colgate, the lack of proper dental care can lead to medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetic complications, dementia, Alzheimer’s, and respiratory infections.

Patients who already have an oral disease such as periodontal disease, which is the inflammation of the gums and bone, already have an increased risk of heart disease. The bacteria from the inflamed gums can accumulate and enter the bloodstream traveling to the arteries. The bacteria will then travel to the heart and can cause atherosclerosis, (hardening of the arteries). Patients who have diabetes also run a higher risk of getting periodontal disease, making dental checkups even more important. Beginning stages of periodontal disease, (small inflammation of the gums) can make it harder for one to control their blood sugar levels which can result in worsening symptoms of diabetes.

Patients who already have gingivitis, which is a form of gum disease, run the risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s. The bacteria from gingivitis can enter either the nerve channels in the head or the bloodstream and enter the brain, which can contribute to dementia or Alzheimer’s. Other cases of gum disease have also reported infections in the lungs, which can lead to pneumonia. This may not be completely obvious at first, but when breathing in the bacteria from gum disease over a long period of time, one can experience the symptoms of pneumonia.

Poor dental care can also lead to other possible factors such as, immune system disorders, weak bones, and problems with pregnancy or low birth weight.

The CDC says, “to help prevent and control gum disease, it is important to:

1.     Brush and floss every day to remove the bacteria that causes gum disease.

2.     See a dentist at least once a year for checkups, or if you have any warning signs or risk factors noted above”.

The Dental Care concern for Denton County

Article written by Nicole Nordie

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