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Oral Health: It Affects Your Whole Body

Have you been to the dentist lately? If this is a trip you’ve been putting off, you are putting your whole body at risk. Didsbury Dental explains the important link between oral health and wellbeing, and why your dentist checkups are so important.

Pregnancy: During pregnancy, high levels of progesterone can cause gingivitis. You’ll notice this between months two and eight of the pregnancy, and it is identified by swollen and/or tender gums, bleeding gums, and bad breath. Additionally, pregnancy can cause cravings for salty and sugary foods, which erode enamel. If you have morning sickness, the acid reflux can also affect your teeth and gums. Periodontitis can also paly a role in premature birth.

Heart health: There is a link between periodontitis and an increased risk of developing heart disease. This is due to the increase in bacteria in the mouth getting into the blood stream. There is also a link between diabetes and heart health. If you have periodontitis and diabetes you have an elevated risk of heart disease.

Lungs: Do you have issues with bronchitis or pneumonia? Dental plaque can migrate to the lungs and cause respiratory infections.

Brain: A buildup of bacteria in your mouth can be a factor in the development of blood clots, which raises the chance of a stroke.

Kidneys: Gum infections make your kidneys work harder. Science Daily notes a 3% decrease in kidney function when you have a 10% increase in gum inflammation. Over a five year period this raises your risk of kidney failure by around 33%. The damages goes the other way too. A 10% reduction in kidney performance increases periodontitis by 25%.

Pancreatic cancer: In 2016, the Journal of the American Medical Association reported these alarming findings: “Researchers compared saliva samples from 361 people who later developed pancreatic cancer with 371 samples from healthy subjects. They found that those with high levels of Porphyromonas gingivalis had a 59% greater risk of developing pancreatic cancer. P. gingivalis is one of the most common harmful oral bacteria and is strongly linked to periodontitis—a gum infection that damages the soft tissue and bone that supports teeth.” (source).

Breast cancer: Women with gum disease are 14% more likely to develop breast cancer. According to Jo Freudenheim, Ph.D, University of Buffalo and lead author of a study conducted on the matter, “We know there are bacteria in breast tissue and we know there are bacteria in mother’s milk. Women who had periodontal disease had a small increase in the risk of breast cancer overall.” Earlier studies showed that “Among women who had quit smoking within the last 20 years, women with gum disease had a 36% higher risk of breast cancer than women who didn’t have gum disease. Among women who had never smoked, women with gum disease had a 6% higher risk of breast cancer than women who didn’t have gum disease.” (source)

Age: While we can control for several factors by eating healthfully and being active, we cannot slow down the hands of time – and yes, ageing also affects your teeth and gums. As we age, it can be hard to maintain our oral health on our own, leading to receding gums, dry mouth, and even oral cancer on top of the expected wear and tear.

Didsbury Dental provides the most comprehensive dentist services in town. From routine cleanings to veneers, 3D scans in office to digital x-rays (lower exposure to radiation), Didsbury Dental has the equipment, experience, and caring team to make dental health an easy part of your overall routine. Your oral health impacts every aspect of your wellbeing. Contact Didsbury Dental today to book a service or learn more.