Whether you realize it or not, your mouth has its own ecosystem. There are hundreds of species of bacteria that owe their existence to your teeth, gums, and the food you eat. It sounds gross, but it’s all just part of life. We all have mouths full of bacteria, and we have to work hard to keep it from causing harm.
There are two primary oral health problems that arise from bacteria: tooth decay and gum disease. But what about the rest of your body? Can oral bacteria do any harm to you besides damaging the look of your smile? It can, and we don’t want to let that happen to any of our Orlando area patients.
The Shocking Effects Of Poor Oral Health
Did you know that one in four pregnant women suffering from gingivitis will give birth prematurely? The inflammation, infection, and bodily reaction to gum disease in pregnant women is thought to release hormones that make the body think it’s time to go into labor. This can happen as early as 35 weeks.
It’s surprising to learn that oral bacteria can cause that degree of harm. While premature birth is a severe example of the effects of oral bacteria it isn’t the only one that’s shocking. There are a number of conditions that are aggravated, or even created, by the bacteria in your mouth.
- Gum disease and extreme tooth decay let bacteria into the bloodstream, where it can cause hardening of the arteries and even the heart. Heart disease and heart attack risks are far higher for patients with poor oral health.
- Hemorrhages and strokes can be attributed to blood borne oral bacteria as well. When oral bacteria ends up in the brain it can latch on to weak artery walls, eventually causing them to burst.
- Alzheimer’s disease is one of chronic inflammation, and it’s becoming apparent that oral health plays a role as well. Patients who suffer from Alzheimer’s and gum disease actually have higher fatality rates.
- There are a whole bunch of cancers that are associated with oral bacteria: esophageal cancer, breast cancer, and pancreatic cancer all have an oral health-related side to them!
- Kidney disease patients who have poor oral health have much higher mortality rates.
- Diabetes patients have higher chances of developing gum disease, and in turn gum disease speeds the problems of diabetes along.
- Excessive oral bacteria is easily inhaled into the lungs, where it can spread infection and lead to pneumonia and other conditions.
Risks like these aren’t worth taking, especially since it’s so easy to control your oral health. Early detection and diagnosis is possible at our Orlando office!
What To Watch Out For In Your Mouth
To do most serious kinds of damage oral bacteria needs a way into your bloodstream. The easiest way for it to get there is through gum disease because one of the early symptoms is bleeding.
Gum disease is a case of oral bacteria below the gumline that’s causing chronic inflammation. In most parts of your body inflammation will come and go, usually doing some good. In the case of gum disease, however, the inflammation continues, eventually leading to swelling, redness, bleeding, and gum recession.
It’s in this way that oral bacteria makes its way into your bloodstream to spread disease, but that’s not the only problem: the inflammation itself can be dangerous as well. In fact, one of the reasons that heart attack rates increase in gum disease patients is because of the presence of inflammatory proteins in the blood.
How To Stop The Spread Of Oral Bacteria
It only takes around 12 hours for the bacteria in your mouth to regenerate after you brush your teeth – that’s fast. If you want to keep it from spreading all through your body there’s three things you simply have to do: brush twice a day, floss every night, and see us at Overmeyer Dental Care for a cleaning and exam every six months.
With proper care at home and at our office you’ll be assuring that your smile and all that it’s attached to stays healthy for years to come. Don’t get worried about your oral health – the mouth is tough and it just takes a little bit of TLC to get it working properly.
If you want to find out how healthy your mouth is just give us a call today. You can reach our Orlando office by calling 407-603-3839 or you can request an appointment online. We look forward to seeing you soon!