Oral health goes beyond just your teeth. Mouths are a very complex and integrated part of our bodies, and poor oral health can actually lead to several broader health issues, often caused by the spread of bacteria. This is one of the many reasons why it’s so important to make sure you’re taking good care of your teeth and gums!
It might be tough to imagine how our teeth could be linked to the heart, but it’s true!. Chronic gums conditions like periodontal disease or gingivitis create bacteria in our mouths. This bacteria can then be spread to the heart through the bloodstream, and cause conditions like endocarditis, an infection in the heart’s inner lining. It can also cause atherosclerosis (clogged arteries) and even strokes.
This connection is still being investigated, but studies have found a potential connection between mouth bacteria and dementia or alzheimer's. It’s possible that the same kind of bacteria that we mentioned above may be able to enter the brain through the bloodstream or nerve channels, causing these conditions.
Another connection that might seem unlikely - the mouth and the lungs. However, consistently breathing in bacteria from gingivitis and other tooth problems can cause illnesses like pneumonia.
Oral health issues can be a pain in the neck - literally! Bruxism, or teeth grinding (often occurs while sleeping), can lead to severe pain in the neck and jaw and even cause headaches. It’s often also associated with TMJ disorders.
The infection from an abscess in the teeth or gums can spread to the lymph nodes under the neck, making them tender and swollen. It can also spread into the sinuses, having a similar effect around the nose and cheeks.
These are just a few of the many health issues that are linked with oral health. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it could be a sign that there is something going on with your teeth or gums that should be investigated.
At Kelowna Dental Solutions, we are committed to finding the root cause of your broader health problems. Book an appointment with us today to learn more.
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