When it comes to your health, there are few realities that are common knowledge. This is especially true for oral health. In general, people are aware that consuming high levels of sugary snacks or candies can do damage to your teeth, that it is recommended to brush your teeth twice a day, and that regular professional teeth cleanings is one of the best ways to maintain your pearly whites. But did you know that your oral health has a lot of impact on the health of the rest of your body as well? Dental issues, like gum disease, have been linked to a wide range of other serious ailments like heart disease, diabetes, and more. 

How the Body Works

It might seem like your gums and your lungs or heart would not be so connected, but your body is one working mechanism that operates congruently. For instance, consider how much of your body depends on the proper function of your lungs. When one part of your body is exposed to or infected with disease, other parts respond either in order to help fight off the infection or to protect itself from that infection. This is why it is never wise to let an injury or an ailment go unchecked by a medical professional. Sometimes, seemingly small problems could end up having big consequences. 

Gum Disease and Your Lungs

When it comes to the effects of your overall physical health, there are very realistic concerns to be aware of if you are experiencing gum disease. For instance, gum disease is typically the result of a high amount of bacteria in your mouth. Everytime you inhale, tiny water droplets and air particles travel into your lungs. If you have an excessive amount of bacteria due to gum disease, you are exposing your lungs to it when you breathe. And while your body’s natural immune system can help fight against bacteria, the higher levels taken in from gum disease can irritate your lung tissue, causing them to become inflamed as well as a wide range of other issues like pneumonia.

Gum Disease and Your Heart

Another thing to consider with gum disease is how it can affect your heart. While there are studies continuously being done to find how much of a risk factor periodontal disease is on the heart, there does seem to be a correlation between gum disease and heart problems. One of the biggest connections is the bacteria that causes the gum disease can find its way into the bloodstream. This gives damaging pathogens a pathway to many essential organs like your lungs, brain, and heart. In an effort to fight off infection, the body can enter into a state of inflammation, but if this continues for a long period of time, it can cause a lot of damage to vital organs. This can put a lot of strain on your heart which will be amplified if there are any pre-existing cardiovascular issues. This is another reason why it is crucial to seek professional medical help when you begin to notice negative changes in your body. 

Preventative Dental Practices

One of the best ways you can avoid gum disease is by practicing some daily hygiene routines. This includes brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, and avoiding large amounts of sugary or sour candies. Additionally, visiting your dentist twice a year for professional cleanings and oral exams will allow them to catch any signs of gum disease early, so you can avoid any unnecessary complications to your health!

Make an Appointment with Your San Marcos TX Dentist

Whether you’re concerned that gum disease is impacting your health or you just need to schedule a professional cleaning, schedule an appointment with San Marcos dentist Larry D. Molenda, D.D.S. We’ll make sure you’re on the right track to better gums and better health overall.