How seriously do you take your oral hygiene? How seriously do you take your overall medical health? Do you think one is more important than the other? Listed below are some things to take into consideration in regard to the connection between gum disease and other major healthcare problems.

#1 It may hurt your heart
Compared to those who don’t have periodontitis, patients that do suffer from major periodontal infections are twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease. Unfortunately, scientists and researchers haven’t found the reason why the two diseases are so closely linked. However, the theory is bacteria that resides in your mouth enters your bloodstream and attaches itself to your heart’s blood vessels. Thus, leading to increased inflammation, upping your risk of clots that can trigger heart attacks.

#2 Your memory could suffer
There is some research that suggests there might be a connection linking poor oral hygiene to an increased risk of developing dementia.

There’s a study that followed 118 nuns between the ages of 75 and 98 found the nuns with the fewest teeth were the ones to most likely to suffer from dementia. Experts feel that the bacteria in your mouth may spread to the brain via cranial nerves that connect your jaw or through the bloodstream, this connection has been linked to Alzheimer’s.

#3 It can hurt blood sugar
Patients with diabetes are more likely to develop gum disease. This might be due to diabetics being more susceptible to infections. There is research that suggests gum disease makes it harder to regulate your blood sugar and treating it can help improve diabetes symptoms.

#4 It may affect breathing
According to the Journal of Periodontology, developing a periodontal infection can increase your chances of respiratory infections, like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pneumonia. The infections are caused when bacteria from the mouth is inhaled through your lungs, causing your airways to become inflamed.
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For more information on the link between your oral health and your overall health, contact our offices in Cary, NC to schedule an appointment to speak with Dr. DeAngelo