There once was a man who had a toothache. He didn’t think much of it as he had recently been in an accident and bumped his jaw on the steering wheel. Over the course of three months, he lost 70 pounds and almost died.
Turns out that bump chipped a root and an infection ate into his jaw. The infection spread and wreaked havoc. Dental facts like this matter; your mouth is a gateway to your body and to your health.
Dental issues work as precursors to issues throughout your system. They also act as a vector for certain diseases and risk factors to get in.
Keep reading to understand more about the issues that link dental health with your overall well being.
Health Links and Dental Facts
The world of oral health includes taking care of the mouth, preventing damage, and diagnosing potential issues.
Dentists, orthodontists, and periodontists work in tandem to provide a service that has expanded its scope a lot since the Egyptians were filling holes with resin and gold.
Your body is filled with potential problems that build up over time. Life is a race against decline and every small choice you make now ripples into the future.
The mouth is delicate in certain ways. This makes it an excellent place to spot warning signs of other issues. In the past twenty years, a lot of work has gone into looking at how poor oral health indicates cardiovascular disease.
Specifically, the presence of periodontal indicators often means that cardiovascular issues are also present. This is because both are caused by microbiota. If your body isn’t fighting off these in the mouth, it also isn’t fighting it in the ventricles.
Periodontal issues also affect pregnancies. Associations between the two are still being studied but it is known that fetal growth and premature labour both have connections to periodontitis.
Other links between oral health and overall health include the following.
- Loss of jaw bone density signals skeletal osteoporosis
- Chronic canker sores are precursors of Celiac disease
- Decay of tooth enamel comes from acid reflux or bulimia
- Frequent lesions reveal a propensity for HIV
- Grinding teeth indicates stress or sleep disorders
Of course, not every indication listed here guarantees the underlying condition but having any of them is a good reason to see your physician about confirming a diagnosis.
Your Mouth Is a Gateway
Substances and habits that are bad for your body frequently start as something bad for your mouth.
Sugar is a fairly obvious issue here. Study after study shows how much sugar does to deteriorate teeth quickly and has an impact on weight and other health assets.
A bad diet also results in far more cavities (known as dental caries). That same bad diet high in sugars and fats leads to diabetes, increased cancer risk, and obesity issues.
Drinking a lot of alcohol is bad for you, no shock there. Frequent alcohol consumption also adds to oral cancer risk. The sugars (and alcohol is a sugar) strip away enamel and kill good bacteria in the mouth.
Any kind of tobacco consumption messes up the biome in the mouth which then transfers to the gut. The dryness of chewing tobacco allows more food to enter the esophagus without breaking down. This creates cramps and leads to lower nutrient absorption.
With your body getting fewer nutrients from the foods you eat, you start to break down. Even a healthy diet can be drastically undercut by mouth issues stemming from tobacco use.
Poor absorption in the tissues of the mouth also exacerbates diabetic symptoms. Without the mouth sending proper signals to the pancreas, not enough insulin is released in a timely manner. This can cause system shock and spike blood sugar even for foods that normally don’t cause issues.
Proximity to the ENT and Brain
Some doctors work exclusively with what are affectionally referred to as ‘diseases of the head holes.’ Issues with the ear, nose, and throat (ENT) open the body up to a lot of different risks and irritations.
The mouth isn’t specifically listed or addressed by ENT specialists but it is one more hole that links the rest. Any problem in the mouth can easily lead to complications in the other three and the brain.
Infections in the gums, if left untreated or unfound, can eat through the jaw and into the brain. Infections of this sort work like worms, burrowing from one hole to the next, leaving room for fluids and bacteria to travel where they don’t belong.
Meniere disease, a disorder with the fluid in the inner ear, can be caused by lingering oral infections. This hard to treat disorder creates persistent ringing in one ear that can take years to go away.
Occlusion of the soft pallet in the upper mouth makes sinuses drain through the throat. This leads to frequent issues with strep and tonsilitis as well as fungus such as thrush.
Social Health and Well Being
Finally, problems with oral health affect social health. It’s hard to keep your professional or personal life running smoothly with the ravages of a bad mouth.
Between unsightly teeth, cracks and sores in the lips and gums, and bad breath, it’s a downhill journey.
Finding a job is statistically more difficult for those with bad teeth. Some writing has gone into determining if it is perceived as a sign of failure or poor lifestyle choices or a byproduct of poverty.
Even if the outside world doesn’t apply extra pressure, internally many people feel self-conscious about their teeth. They take on less extroverted tasks and are afraid to speak much or smile in public out of fear.
The sad part, these types of avoidance behaviours lead some to drink and smoke, which furthers the problem.
Be Your Best
Getting healthy and maintaining health requires a lot of work and even more know-how. The body contains a lot of systems that work together and any problem anywhere can cascade. When you are aware of these dental facts, you have a better chance of curbing reactions.
A healthy body both works to stop cascades and gives you advanced warning. Listening to your body is always a good start. For more information about this and our supplements contact us.