Oral health matters
Dentists are one of only a handful of health care providers that routinely screen patients for oral cancer and are in a unique position to identify hidden conditions such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and eating disorders. Your dentist can help identify problems early, before they become more serious and harder to treat.
Anxiety and depression
Anxiety and stress cause an increase in the hormone cortisol, which can increase inflammation and accelerate the progression of periodontal disease. Maintaining normal cortisol levels can reduce gum inflammation and improve periodontal treatment outcomes. In addition, many of the medications used to treat anxiety and depression have oral side effects that can increase your oral health risk.
Periodontal disease may contribute to rheumatoid arthritis (RA), speed its progression, and undermine its treatment.
Were you aware that you should visit a dentist at least four weeks before cancer treatment begins to get an exam and any necessary dental treatment? This is important to help minimize or avoid the impact of some side effects of cancer treatment on your mouth.
Poor oral health is is considered to be as relevant as virtually any other known cardiovascular disease risk factor.
Dementia and Alzheimer's
Research shows that individuals with dementia have higher rates of tooth decay, periodontal disease, dry mouth, and facial pain than those without dementia. There is also evidence suggesting that people with missing teeth may be more likely to develop cognitive impairment, dementia, or Alzheimer's than those without missing teeth.
Diabetes increases your risk for periodontal disease by up to three times, and periodontal disease elevates blood sugar levels, making diabetes and related problems harder to manage. But here's the good news. Studies have also shown that properly treated and maintained gum disease significantly lowers blood sugar in people with Type 2 diabetes.
Oral symptoms of eating disorders are often evident in as few as six months. If you suspect someone you love is facing an eating disorder, it is important to encourage them to visit the dentist regularly to promote early detection or treat the possible oral impacts of the condition.
The first signs of an emerging gastrointestinal (GI) condition are often in your mouth. Because of this, your dentist may be the first healthcare provider to identify that you have a GI disorder.
Researchers estimate that up to 90% of renal patients will show oral symptoms. In addition, bacterial infections like periodontal disease (periodontitis) can impact your ability to fight infections in your kidneys.
Low body mass index (BMI) may leave the jaw bone more susceptible to bacteria. This may explain why many individuals with osteoporosis have more severe symptoms of periodontal disease.
While there's still more to learn about the connection, periodontal disease has been associated with preterm birth and low birth weight children. Also, did you know that newborns are three times more likely to develop tooth decay if their mothers have significant untreated decay during and after pregnancy?
The first signs of an emerging respiratory condition are often in your mouth. In addition, researchers believe that the bacteria that cause tooth decay and periodontal disease may increase the risk of lung conditions or aggravate their effects.
Your dentist can be a great frontline resource to identify early signs of this condition. In addition, sleep apnea can affect your oral health in a variety of ways.