Common diseases or problems that can occur in our mouths include decay/cavities of the teeth, tooth abscess, and periodontal disease. Although these are diseases of your mouth, they can have an effect on the overall health of your body.
Tooth decay/cavities: Tooth decay occurs from acid deposited by bacteria that is found in the mouth. Carbohydrates, sugar, and acid from food activate this bacteria and cause holes to form in the teeth; thereby creating a cavity. Generally, cavities penetrate the enamel (the outer layer of the tooth) but can penetrate deeper into the soft layers in the tooth. How does this affect your health? Unhealthy foods have more of the products that activate the bacteria, therefore not only is it going to your hips but through your teeth! Cavities can promote a lack of confidence to smile in public places, jobs, or interviews. Also if the decay is too great for the structure of the tooth, it will cause pain forcing you to change eating habits. Then without treatment the tooth will be lost, causing more stress on the other teeth to make up the difference in load. Brushing, flossing, fluoride, and regular visits to your dentist will prevent this problem.
Tooth Abscess: Tooth Abscess is created by untreated cavities, trauma, or a broken tooth. Once a tooth abscess has been diagnosed by your dental professional, treatment is either an extraction or a root canal. Most of the time the root canal will solve the problem, however, occasionally the tooth will not respond to treatment, and could eventually result in tooth loss. How can this affect your overall health? Infection found anywhere in the body including the mouth can spread throughout the body. An untreated abscess can result in the infection spreading into your face or skull. In serious cases, these infections could even become life threatening without treatment. Regular dental check-ups, and homecare will decrease the chance of infection and the need of a root canal.
Periodontal disease: This is a disease that affects the soft and hard tissues in the mouth. It can be generated by lack of homecare, diabetes, smoking, and genetics. This disease is the number one cause of tooth loss. In its active state, periodontal disease destroys the bone that surrounds teeth resulting in mobility that cannot withstand chewing force. Once you have periodontal disease, you will always have it, and you will always need to work hard to maintain the remaining supporting structure of bone supporting your teeth.
Periodontal disease causes the immune systems need to continually fight off bacteria in the mouth instead of the rest of the body. Periodontal disease can also be linked to low birth weight babies. It also affects your overall health with causing a two times greater risk of developing heart disease. Additionally, the presence of high bacteria levels does have the ability to clog arteries. Periodontal disease can also attack joint replacements in the body. It is very important that if you have this disease that you follow the instructions of your health care provider and dentist to prevent and limit future problems.
Next time you’re in the office, ask us about how we can better help you with your dental care and keep your overall body free from infections and diseases.