how dental health affects your overall healthA healthy smile just makes life better. A happy smile improves social interactions, communication and the ability to perform well in work and school. Those, of course, aren’t the only reasons to maintain great oral health though. The National Academy of Medicine reports that oral health is connected to good overall health and oral diseases can exacerbate health problems outside of the mouth.

Poor Oral Health and Disease 

Poor oral health has been linked to several heart issues. Studies have found that oral health complications can lead to an increased risk of heart disease. People with gum disease have nearly TWICE the risk for heart disease as those with healthy gums, according to the American Academy of Periodontology. Chronic inflammation from gum disease has also been shown to raise cholesterol levels.

Gum disease also appears to be more frequent and severe in diabetics. In addition, people with gum disease have more difficulty controlling their blood sugar levels

Other Dangerous Effects of Poor Oral Health 

how dental health affects your overall health Untreated oral diseases can lead to problems with eating, speaking, learning and productivity for children and adults. Oral problems can also lead to bad dietary choices that can damage overall health. If we can be honest with you for a second, this is a bad thing. 

Additional issues connected to oral health include a link between premature birth and low birth weight to expectant mothers with gum disease. In addition, American children miss millions of school days and adults miss an estimated 164 million hours of work due to oral health problems each year – that’s a lot of wasted productivity. And, mostly untreated, often preventable, oral diseases send more than 2.1 million Americans to the emergency room each year. Still not convinced yet?

Enter Stage Left: Gum Disease 

Gum disease appears to have a connection with many of these negative effects on overall health. And nearly half of U.S. adults have some degree of gum disease. Are you one of them? 

Gum disease, along with most oral diseases, is almost entirely preventable. All it takes to prevent gum disease is to brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily and visit your dentist regularly. With an oral exam, your dentist can potentially detect signs of more than 120 diseases, including heart disease and diabetes. Early detection can make treatment easier, less costly and even lifesaving. 

What are you waiting for? Schedule your annual check-up today