It can be easy to disconnect your oral health from your overall health. After all, you visit two different types of doctors for your health needs and even carry two different insurance policies. But the truth is that, just like every other aspect of your body, your oral health is intrinsically connected to your overall health — and even your mental health.
Below are some examples of those connections.
Gum Disease and Systemic Health
Gingivitis and gum disease are often glossed over, perhaps because they can be painless oral health issues, while tooth decay and tooth damage negatively affect your life more immediately. But you should know that gum disease can not only lead to things like loose teeth and tooth loss but is also connected to serious health conditions.
Some of those conditions include heart disease, stroke, cognitive impairment, and cancer. It’s believed that the inflammation caused by gum disease can increase the risk of some of these conditions and that the bacteria that cause it can spread throughout the body and lead to an increased risk of blood clots and heart attacks.
Oral Health and Mental Health
While research is ongoing on the connection between oral health and mental health, things like damaged teeth and tooth decay can undoubtedly impact mental health significantly. If you feel as though you’re being judged for the appearance of your smile, it can be seriously damaging to your self-esteem.
Diabetes and Oral Health
Just like oral health conditions can affect your overall health, certain health conditions can affect your oral health. Those with diabetes are more likely to have gum disease, and because diabetes is related to immune system dysfunction, it’s more difficult for diabetics to fight gum disease.
Protect Your Oral and Your Overall Health
Regular visits to your dentist can help you protect not only your oral health but also the rest of your body and your mind. Call David W. Piper, DMD, at (727) 548-7100 today to schedule an appointment.
Dr. Piper is a General and Cosmetic Dentist who has proudly served Pinellas County since 1993. Both he and his team of professionals provide high quality, gentle dental care in a relaxed, personalized, and caring environment. Treating patients like family sets his practice apart from others.