Think your teeth are in perfect condition? Think again.
Recent studies show that over 90% of American adults have tooth decay, gum disease, or another dental problem.
But can bad teeth cause health problems, or are the consequences of tooth decay merely cosmetic?
Poor dental hygiene can in fact lead to serious problems with your health. Read on to find out the potential health risks you expose yourself to when you don’t take proper care of your teeth and gums.
1. Poor Heart Health
Bad teeth don’t just make you feel insecure — they can also increase your risk for cardiovascular diseases.
Because the bacteria in your teeth and gums can quite easily find its way into your bloodstream. The same plaque that destroys your teeth can also block your arteries, leading to a condition called atherosclerosis.
Since blood is unable to flow and pump through to the heart normally, you’re more likely to have a heart attack, hypertension, and even put yourself at a higher risk of having a stroke.
In extreme cases, you may also develop endocarditis, which is in an infection of the heart’s lining that is, in most cases, fatal.
2. Lung Infections and Respiratory Problems
What’s another good reason to schedule an appointment with your dentist ASAP?
The fact that poor dental hygiene makes you much more likely to develop a respiratory infection that can quickly turn into a more severe problem in the lungs.
The bacteria in your mouth can reach your lungs through the bloodstream or by simply breathing them in over time.
This means you’re more likely to develop COPD, pneumonia, bronchitis, and even lung disease.
3. An Increased Risk of Dementia
Poor dental hygiene can also impact your memory — especially as you age.
Viruses and bacteria in the mouth can infect and destroy healthy brain cells, especially if you have gingivitis.
It’s all too easy for that bacteria to get into your bloodstream or nerve channels that connect to your brain. You’ll put yourself at a higher risk for both dementia and Alzheimer’s.
4. A Higher Likelihood of Diabetes
If you were born with diabetes or are currently at a high risk for developing it, you need to take bad oral hygiene especially seriously.
As a diabetic, you’re already prone to periodontal disease — and once you have teeth and gum problems, they can make life with diabetes much harder.
Gum disease can cause your blood sugar levels to rapidly rise and fall to unhealthy levels, which makes seizures, kidney damage, and other health consequences of diabetes much more likely.
Act Now to Stop the Health Consequences of Poor Dental Hygiene
Don’t let poor dental hygiene take years off your life and lead to painful, expensive diseases that make you miserable.
Instead, visit the dentist for a regular checkup and cleaning at least once every six months.
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