For years, it has been known that mouth and oral health reflect a person’s overall well-being. Poor oral hygiene can lead to various pathologies, but many of us don’t stop to consider how closely our mouths are intertwined with other parts of our bodies – at least until a problem occurs. Whether it’s cavities, gum disease or something else, our mouth is the telltale sign of an internal or emotional problem. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at why it’s so important to take care of your mouth by looking at common problems experienced by people who neglect their dental hygiene as well as ways to protect against potential long-term damage.
The new report published in March 2022 by the World Health Organization revealed that oral health problems, including cavities, are increasingly widespread and affect almost half of the world’s population. This situation is worrying, because oral diseases can have serious consequences on our health. Let’s find out!
What is the impact of poor oral health?
Poor oral health can lead to many adverse consequences for general health. In the following, we will describe some of the possibilities that poor oral health can trigger.
Cardiovascular illnesses :
Poor oral health is often associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, such as coronary heart disease, atherosclerosis, and stroke. Bacteria in the mouth can enter the bloodstream and cause inflammation that damages blood vessels and the heart.
People with diabetes are more likely to develop dental infections, which can lead to a worsening of their overall health. Studies have shown that periodontitis (a disease of the gums) can raise blood sugar levels and worsen symptoms of diabetes.
Bad oral health habits, such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, can lead to bad breath, inflammation of the lungs and chronic bronchitis. Bacteria and food particles can also accumulate in the mouth and cause respiratory tract infections.
Risks for pregnancy:
Pregnant women with poor oral health are at increased risk of complications, such as preterm labor, premature birth, and low birth weight. Oral bacteria can spread to the uterus and cause inflammation that disrupts the normal development of the fetus.
Oral health and neurodegenerative disease: What is the connection?
According to a scientific study, there is an established link between oral health and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline. Several studies have shown that pathogenic bacteria present in the oral cavity can lead to chronic inflammatory infections which, in turn, can promote the onset of certain neurodegenerative diseases.
A Finnish study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society in September 2022 found that people with poor periodontal health or missing teeth had a more than 20% higher risk of cognitive decline or dementia than people with good oral health. These results have been corroborated by other studies conducted on the elderly.
Red complex bacteria, which are the most virulent, have been identified as responsible for several infectious diseases of the oral cavity and may play a key role in the development of neurodegenerative diseases. Certain oral bacteria have indeed been found in the senile plaques characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease.
Although the precise mechanisms involved in the occurrence of these diseases are still unclear, recent studies suggest that oral health and the prevention of chronic inflammatory infections of the oral cavity could play an important role in the prevention of certain neurodegenerative diseases. . Therefore, it is advisable to pay special attention to one’s oral health from an early age in order to prevent potential long-term complications.
What is the sworn enemy of our oral health according to the experts?
According to experts, the sworn enemy of our oral health is clearly tobacco. In addition to having a detrimental effect on our gums, it is vasoconstrictor, which means that it prevents bleeding. However, this bleeding is the first symptom of gingivitis, which can delay the early detection of gum disease in smokers. In addition, tobacco is identified as one of the main causes of oral cancer. It is therefore strongly recommended to quit smoking in order to preserve oral health and reduce the risk of developing serious conditions.