Keeping your teeth and gums in good condition is of paramount importance—but not just so that you can have a healthy mouth. Poor oral hygiene can affect the rest of your body in surprising ways. If you contract gum disease, then your risks for a number of other diseases can be increased.

Inflammation


Periodontal disease involves an infection in your mouth, but it doesn’t always stay there. Problems can easily spread to the rest of your body. Research has shown that those with periodontal disease are at an increased risk of stroke—they can be as much as 4.3 times more likely to experience one during their lifetime. 


Diabetes


Diabetes and periodontal disease are also linked to each other. In this case, each condition can aggravate the other; diabetes can make it harder for gum problems to heal, while periodontal problems can cause significant spikes in blood sugar. Poor oral health can both increase your risk of diabetes and aggravate existing conditions.


Heart Disease


Additionally, poor hygiene can be linked to heart disease. Gum problems can lead to increased infection and inflammation in the mouth, but these problems can easily spread to other parts of the body, and your heart is highly susceptible.


Bone Loss


Bone loss is another common side effect of poor oral health, especially if you have missing teeth. Reduced bone density in the jaw is in turn tied to osteoporosis in other parts of the body, a condition in which the bones become weaker. This is especially dangerous for those over the age of 65.


Cancer


Finally, a recent study has indicated that gum disease can increase the risk of pancreatic cancer, one of the most dangerous forms of cancer in the US. Researchers suspect this may be due to increased inflammation.


Protecting Yourself


Gum disease, tooth loss, and other oral problems aren’t just restricted to your mouth—they can cause problems in your whole body. As a cosmetic dentist in Wayne, NJ, Dr. Breiterman can help treat gum disease and a number of other problems. Call (973) 988-4491 to set up an appointment.