Why Taking Care of your Teeth can Enhance your overall Health
Most of us think of our mouth and teeth as separate from our overall health, but Dr. Aparna Pandey, Dental Surgeon/Periodontist reveals that a healthy mouth is actually a reflection of a healthy body.
According to Dr. Pandey, Thumbay Dental Hospital located at Thumbay Medicity, Studies suggest that oral bacteria and the inflammation associated with a severe form of gum disease (periodontitis) might play a role in some diseases. She elaborates, “It is well established now that overall health and oral health are linked to each other. The bacteria residing in dental plaque secrete a variety of toxins and by-products which lead to an inflammatory response affecting the general health.”
The inflammation of the gums in the initial stage is called gingivitis. When the deeper supporting tissues get affected, it is called periodontitis, in which the inflammation extends to supporting fibers and bone. “The body is inhabited by numerous microorganisms commencing from the oral cavity until the lower gut region,” she explains; hence, the oral cavity anatomically, physiologically, and microbiologically is intricately correlated to the overall health of an individual.
The impact of periodontal infection
Today, we are coping with numerous challenging illnesses, including cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, diabetes, and respiratory diseases which lead to morbidity or mortality. But what may come as a surprise to many is that periodontitis has significant impact on these and many more systemic conditions, she says, explaining, “Studies have proven that systemic conditions affected by periodontal diseases include atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, stroke, diabetes, pregnancy complication, and/ or respiratory diseases like COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).”
Dr. Pandey reveals that a suggested link is the production of pro-inflammatory chemicals in periodontitis also called cytokines. She explains, “These inflammatory mediators provide a common pathway of tissue damage similar to what has been investigated in the listed systemic diseases. Diabetes is one of the most prevalent illnesses adversely affecting quality of life, and its long-term complications on the kidney, eyes, nerve damage, and disturbance in microcirculation; with the gums being its sixth target.” The increased blood sugar levels not only buildup the inflammatory destruction in the gums, but also interferes with the routine metabolism of attachment fibers in periodontium. This leads to an easy breakdown of the attachment apparatus of the teeth and its eventual loss. Hence, the periodontitis in diabetic patients is a more common and exaggerated condition. Various studies have established the two way relation of diabetes and periodontal disease; hence, improving the periodontal health status shows a corresponding control in blood glycemic levels.
Key preventive measures to prevent serious gum/dental issues
An efficient brushing of teeth for two minutes, twice daily, and making sure that you cover all teeth surfaces.
Tongue cleaning should be a part of your daily oral hygiene along with the regular use of floss or other interdental aids.
Thorough rinsing after meals or snacking proves to be quite effective in keeping your mouth healthy.
The golden rule of visiting your dentist regularly always works, because he/she will find what you usually miss.