Health is an over-arching and all-inclusive concept. It stretches all the way down from your mind and your skin to your body and your teeth. This means taking care of the health of one part of yourself, your teeth for example, impacts different aspects of your overall and bodily health. They’re not segmented subjects and often when we take steps towards better dental health our body benefits too. Most of us are aware that poor dental hygiene can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath, but poor dental health could also have much more serious consequences.
Dental health and Alzheimer’s disease
A Taiwanese study found that those with a history of chronic gum disease of 10-years or longer have a small but significant risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, those who participated in this study were found to have an estimated 70% higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s than those who didn’t have chronic periodontitis or extreme gum disease. This study gives all the more reason to keep your teeth and gums healthy, helping to prolong all forms of your health.
Dental health and pancreatic cancer
A 2007 Harvard study was the pioneering report to show strong evidence that gum disease and pancreatic cancer can be linked. The researchers found that men with a history of gum disease had a 64% increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer compared with those who had never had gum disease. The greatest risk amongst the men surveyed was those with those who had suffered recent tooth loss. While periodontitis is an advanced form, it’s easy for gingivitis (the beginnings of gum disease) to turn into this extreme if you don’t maintain your gums’ health.
Dental health and heart disease
Bleeding gums caused by the early signs of gum disease could increase your risk of heart disease, teams from the University of Bristol and the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin found. This is because bacteria from the mouth is able to enter the bloodstream and stick to the platelets in our blood. Blood clots can them form, interrupting the flow to the heart and triggering a heart attack. It’s reported that there are up to 700 different types of bacteria co-existing in the mouth, so we’re leaving our bodies open to attack when we ignore our gum and dental health.
Dental health and obesity
There’s also been a link found between obesity and poor dental health, specifically gum health. The study, conducted on test mice, found that the bacteria known to cause gum disease worsened the functionality of fat tissue, shown to increase the chances of obesity. It is reported to be the first time that these findings have presented themselves, creating a significant and tangible link between obesity and poor gum health.
Dental health and mental health
It’s no secret that when we aren’t confident in our teeth or smile, our self-confidence takes a knock. Smiling triggers the happiness hormone in our brain, tricking us into chemically being happy even without any stimuli. If we’re smiling less, we’re also producing less endorphins that boost our mood. This means that not only do we consciously not feel good about our teeth, but we also short-change our brain’s chemicals too. Furthermore, worries like dental phobia can stop patients receiving necessary dental care, endangering their dental health and the rest of their health.
Dental health, or rather poor dental health, has an invested place in the rest of your bodily health. It’s important to take all aspects of wellbeing seriously, and this shouldn’t neglect your teeth and gums. Book your next appointment with us on 01204 304568 or enquire online and join the Harwood Dental Care family in Bolton today.