Many of us believe that when it comes to a problem within our mouths, it is an issue separate from the rest of our body as a whole. However, oral health and oral diseases are very much linked to many other parts of the body. Indeed, poor oral health can have a tremendous impact on our overall health and well-being. Specifically, issues related to pregnancy, heart disease, and diabetes have all been linked to periodontal disease.
The combination of periodontal disease and diabetes can increase the symptoms of both diseases. People with diabetes are typically more susceptible to contracting infections, especially those who do not properly control their blood sugar.
While researchers are still studying the exact reasons behind the link, there has been an association established between periodontal disease and heart disease. Many scientists believe that inflammation caused by periodontal disease may be responsible for the connection between the two diseases. In one study, men with periodontal disease under 50 were 72% more likely to suffer from coronary heart disease. In addition, the risk of strokes doubled for patients with periodontal disease.
Preterm deliveries and low birth weight infants have been linked to periodontal disease, though the exact reasons behind the connection are not yet fully understood by scientists today. Like heart disease, it is believed that inflammation may play a role. Professional and in-home mouth care by expectant mothers can help decrease the chances of harm to the fetus.
It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Per the American Cancer Society, nearly 40,000 women will die of breast cancer in 2015 alone. Depending on age and family history, a combination of self-examinations, professional examinations, and mammograms are recommended for women. Early detection of breast cancer is a critical component of conquering this disease.
Learn More About Oral Hygiene
To learn more about the impact poor oral hygiene can have on your entire body, or to schedule an appointment with a periodontist in Harrisonburg, VA, please call Dr. Saunders at (540) 684-1611.