How better dental care

How Better Dental Care May Improve Your Overall Health??

Oral health is considered as a window to your overall health. The state of your oral health can give a lot of clues about your overall health. Oral health and one's overall health are more connected then one might even realize. Gum diseases can let bacteria enter your bloodstream and cause diseases elsewhere in your body or sometimes signs of a disease may first show up in your mouth. But here we are going to discuss how dental problems can cause diseases elsewhere in your body or how dental problems may aggravate the existing health disorder.

Our mouth normally has a lot of bacteria staying in there. These bacteria may be harmful too. Normally one can control these bacteria by maintaining proper dental hygiene like regular brushing and flossing. Use of a good mouthwash on a regular basis helps in maintaining good hygiene. Saliva is another important defense mechanism as it contains certain enzymes which destroy many harmful bacterias and viruses. Thus saliva plays an important role in destroying unwanted bacterias. But in certain condition bacteria grow out of control like in periodontitis or in serious gum infections. These bacterias can then enter the bloodstream and may wreak havoc somewhere else in the body.

When your gums are healthy, bacteria in your mouth usually don't enter your bloodstream. However, gum disease may provide bacteria a port of entry into your bloodstream. Sometimes invasive dental treatments also can allow bacteria to enter your bloodstream. And medications or treatments that reduce saliva flow or disrupt the normal balance of bacteria in your mouth also may lead to oral changes, making it easier for bacteria to enter your bloodstream. Some researchers believe that these bacteria and inflammation from your mouth are linked to other health problems in the rest of your body.

Health Risks Of Poor Oral Hygiene

Our oral cavity inhabits many bacterias which constitute the normal flora but at the same time there are some unwanted bacterias too which grow out of control once they get the desired conditions. Gum disease is one such condition. Gum disease is an inflammation of the gums which may also affect the bone supporting the teeth. Gum disease start due to the development of plaque and non maintenance of oral hygiene. Plaque is a sticky colorless film of bacteria that constantly builds up, thickens and hardens on teeth. If it is not removed by brushing and flossing, this plaque can harden into calculus and may contribute to infections in gums.

If left untreated severe gum diseases may lead to bone destructions, loss of teeth and many severe diseases like respiratory and cardiovascular disorders.

There are many disorders which have been linked to poor oral hygiene. Rather poor oral hygiene has been cited as the root cause of many systemic disorders like:

Cardiovascular diseases

Renal diseases

Premature babies

Respiratory disorders

Diabetes

Cardiovascular Diseases

Studies suggest gingivitis may increase the risk of heart disease and stroke because of the high levels of bacteria found in infected areas of the mouth. As the level of periodontal disease increases, the risk of cardiovascular disease may increase with it. Other studies have suggested that the inflammation in the gums may create a chronic inflammation response in other parts of the body which has also been implicated in increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Many cross sectional studies have suggested a possible link between oral health and coronary heart disease.

How Does Periodontal Infection Affect Heart?

Periodontal infection due to poor oral hygiene may affect the onset or progression of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease through certain mechanisms. Periodontal disease may predispose the patient to an increased incidence of bacteraemia including the presence of virulent gram negative organisms associated with periodontitis.an estimated 8 % of all cases of infective endocarditis are associated with periodontal or dental disease .the periodontium when affected by a periodontal disease also acts as a reservoir of endotoxin (LPS) from gram negative organisms. Endotoxin can pass readily into the systemic circulation during normal daily function, precipitating many negative cardiovascular effects.

Myocardial or cerebral infarction: in animal models gram negative bacteria and the associated LPS cause infiltration of inflammatory cells into the arterial wall, proliferation of arterial smooth muscle and intravascular coagulation. Periodontal diseases result in chronic systemic exposure to products of these hosts. Low level bactereamia may initiate host responses that alter coagulability, endothelial and vessel wall integrity and platelet function, resulting in atherogenic changes and possible thrombo embolic events.

Also serum CRP and fibrinogen levels are also raised in periodontitis which are well accepted risk factors for cardiovascular diseases.

Stroke: periodontal diseases may contribute directly to pathogenesis of atherosclerosis by providing a persistent bacterial challenge to arterial endothelium, contributing to the monocyte macrophage driven inflammatory process that results in atheromatosis and narrowing of the vessel lumen. Also periodontal infection may stimulate a series of indirect systemic effects such as increased production of fibrinogen and crp which serve to increase the risk of stroke. Finally bacteraemia with PAAP positive bacterial strains from the supragingival and sub gingival plaque can increase platelet aggregation contributing to thrombus formation and subsequent thromboembolism the leading cause of stroke!!!

Thus poor oral hygiene can lead to severe periodontal infection which can cause many cardiovascular problem sin the susceptible host!

Diabetes

Diabetes is a very common diseases and association of many dental problems with diabetes being the root cause has been well established. But emerging research suggests that the relationship between serious gum disease and diabetes is two-way. Not only are people with diabetes more susceptible to serious gum disease, but serious gum disease may have the potential to affect blood glucose control and contribute to the progression of diabetes

In case of severe gram negative periodontal infections, there is increased resistance to insulin. And hence poor glycemic control hence the diabetic problem gets worse. So periodontal treatment designed to decrease the bacterial insult and reduce inflammation might restore insulin sensitivity over time resulting in improved metabolic control.

Pregnancy

Periodontitis is a gram negative infection that may play a role in low birth weight (LBW) infants.Periodontopathic organisms and their products may have a wide range of effects most likely mediated through stimulation of host cytokine production in target tissues.porphyromans gingivalis main causative organism in periodontitis when implanted in subcutaneous chambers during gestation caused significant increase TNF alpha and PGe2 levels. This localized subcutaneous infection resulted in a significant increase in fetal death and decrease in fetal birth weight.

Decreased fetal birth weight and increased fetal death were also seen after intravenous injections with LPS derived from p. gingivalis.

In cross sectional studies, women having lbw infants had significantly higher levels of actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans, tannerellla forsythia,P.gingivalis and treponema denticola in their sub gingival plaque than did the control women having normal body weight infants. These organisms are the causative agents of periodontal infections. So maintenance of proper oral hygiene is of utmost importance in pregnant females.

Pre Eclampsia

Periodontal disease may also increase the risk of preeclampsia which is a hypertensive disorder and affects about 5% to 10% of pregnancies and is a major cause of perinatal and maternal morbidity and mortality.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

COPD is characterized by airflow obstruction resulting from chronic bronchitis or emphysema Bronchial mucus gland enlarges and an inflammatory process occurs in which neutrophils and mononuclear inflammatory cells accumulate in lung tissue.

Smoking which is an important factor in pathogenesis of COPD and disease is the only connecting link between both diseases as per the statistics available.

Acute respiratory infections

Hospital acquired pneumonia has a very high morbidity and mortality rate. It is usually caused by aspiration of oropharynageal contents. Oropharyngeal colonization with potential respiratory pathogens (prps) during.

Prps may also originate in oral cavity with dental plaque serving as a reservoir of these organisms. Prps are more often isolated from supragingival plaque and buccal mucosa of patients in intensive care units than in outpatients. Sub gingival plaque may also harbor prps and putative periodontal pathogens have been associated with nosocomial pneumonias. Also anaerobic organisms from periodontal pockets may serve as primary inoculums for suppurative respiratory diseases that have significant morbidity and mortality.

Patient Education

So as we see that poor oral hygiene can predispose an individual to vast amounts of diseases one should be particular about his or her oral health. Following steps should be taken to avoid accumulation of plaque and hence maintaining a healthy mouth!. Regular brushing and flossing should be done at least twice a day. a good quality toothbrush and toothpaste should be used. Regular use of a good mouthwash with antibiotic properties helps in keeping oral diseases away. Fluoride rich toothpastes and mouthwashes should be used. proper diet should be taken. Fruits rich in vitamin c should be eaten as they prevent gum diseases. Flossing your teeth twice a day can even prevent your heart diseases. Nutrition is very important. . Eating the right way means less cavities, it also means your body has the nutrients it needs to fight off infections and disease, including gum disease.

Dental hygiene does not only affect your health, but if you are pregnant, the dental hygiene your practice can also affect the health of your unborn baby. It is very important for women in childbearing years to be vigilant about keeping good oral health. Many studies have shown that premature birth is often connected to the mother having gum disease. Good dental hygiene almost always eliminates gum disease, and thus greatly reduces your risks of having a baby prematurely. The infection and bacteria caused by poor oral hygiene will lead to gum disease and can end up affecting the development of an unborn child. Although women who are pregnant should not undergo all dental procedures, regular check-ups and cleanings should be maintained, and are important to the health of your fetus. Eating lean meats, fish, poultry, and beans will give iron and protein for overall health and magnesium and zinc for healthy teeth and gums.

Faq's

What Is The Relationship Between Periodontal Disease And Respiratory Disease?

Respiratory infections are acquired through aspiration (inhaling) of fine droplets from the mouth and throat into the lungs. These droplets contain large amounts of bacterias which can cause respiratory disorders. Recent research suggests that bacteria found in the throat, as well as bacteria found in the mouth, can be drawn into the lower respiratory tract. This can cause infections or worsen existing lung conditions.

Scientists have found that bacteria that grow in the oral cavity can be aspirated into the lung to cause respiratory diseases such as pneumonia, especially in people with periodontal disease. This discovery leads researchers to believe that these respiratory bacteria can travel from the oral cavity into the lungs to cause infection. Research is going on in the world to prove a relation between chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder and periodontal pathogens. Also gram negative bacterias cause severe respiratory and periodontal problems.

Also smoking is a major cause of COPD so research is on to prove a relation between smoking and bad oral hygiene with COPD

Is My Periodontal Disease A Risk Factor For Diabetes?

Though it's a proven fact that diabetics have a bad oral hygiene and are at a higher risk for periodontal problems , the vice versa is also true and research is on to prove it .Severe periodontal disease can increase blood sugar, contributing to increased periods of time when the body functions with a high blood sugar. This puts diabetics at increased risk for diabetic complications. Thus, diabetics who have periodontal disease should be treated to eliminate the periodontal infection.

I Am A Pregnant Female With Severe Periodontal Problems. Will This Affect My Baby?

Pregnant females are more likely to deliver premature babies with low birth weight if they are suffering from periodontal disease. Periodontopathic organisms and their products may have a wide range of effects most likely mediated through stimulation of host cytokine production in target tissues.porphyromans gingivalis main causative organism in periodontitis when implanted in subcutaneous chambers during gestation caused significant increase TNF alpha and PGe2 levels. This localized subcutaneous infection resulted in a significant increase in fetal death and decrease in fetal birth weight.

Does Periodontal Disease Increase The Risk Of Heart Disorders?

Several theories are available to suggest the relation between heart diseases and periodontal pathology. One says oral bacteria can attach to fatty atheromatous plaques in heart blood vessels once they enter the bloodstream. This leads to clot formation which can obstruct normal blood flow restricting the amount of nutrients and oxygen required for the heart to function normally. Another theory is that the inflammations caused by periodontal disease increases plaque build up thus leads to swelling of arteries.

What Are The Tips For A Good Oral Health?

-Get a balanced diet. It should include:

Breads, cereals and other grain products

Fruits vegetables

Meat, poultry and fish

Milk, cheese and yogurt

limit the number of snacks you eat.

brush twice daily with a fluoridated toothpaste.

flossing should be done on a regular basis.

a good mouthwash should be used regularly.

Lastly routine checkup with a dentist is must!

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