If you think dental problems just affect your smile, think again! As a Tucson Periodontist, we have seen it all. Our dedication to saving your natural teeth is a priority and we have been proudly serving the Tucson area for over 30 years. Gum disease and tooth decay not only affect your oral health but can also have an impact on your overall health. Here are just some areas of health that can be affected by gum disease and tooth decay:
- Cardiovascular health: Research has shown that gum disease is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, such as heart attacks and strokes. This is thought to be due to the inflammation caused by gum disease, which can contribute to the development of atherosclerosis, a buildup of plaque in the arteries.
- Respiratory health: Poor oral health has been linked to respiratory infections such as pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Bacteria from the mouth can travel to the lungs and cause infection or worsen existing respiratory conditions.
- Diabetes: People with diabetes are more prone to gum disease and tooth decay, and uncontrolled gum disease can make it more difficult to control blood sugar levels. Additionally, high blood sugar levels can contribute to the development and progression of gum disease.
- Pregnancy: Pregnant women with gum disease have been shown to be at increased risk for preterm birth and low birth weight babies.
- Cognitive function: Recent research has suggested a link between poor oral health and cognitive decline in older adults.
- Nutrition: Tooth decay and gum disease can make it difficult to eat certain foods, leading to a less varied and nutritious diet.
Gum disease and tooth decay can have a range of impacts on your overall health, including cardiovascular health, respiratory health, diabetes control, pregnancy outcomes, cognitive function, and nutrition. Maintaining good oral health through regular dental checkups, proper oral hygiene practices, and a healthy diet can help prevent these negative health outcomes.