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The Mouth Body Connection

We Care About Your Overall Health As Well As Your Dental Health.
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Many patients don’t realize that their health can be hugely impacted by the condition of their dental health. Not just how healthy your teeth and gums are, but how healthy you are in general. Diseases like heart disease have been linked to the condition of your dental health, and around 40% of people suffering from gum disease also had a chronic health condition. When you decide to take care of your dental health, you’re doing yourself a massive favor – you’ll be keeping your general health in check, too.

Even something seemingly simple like a cavity can be closely connected to the health of your heart and brain. Just as there is a blood-brain barrier that protects the brain from toxins in the blood, there is a barrier between the gums and teeth and the rest of the body. Every time you have inflammation or an infection in your mouth, you are triggering issues in other parts of your body.

When you visit our Westchester dental practice, Chappaqua Dentistry, we will provide the best treatment imaginable, helping you to keep your mouth and the rest of your body healthy. We want our patients to be able to care for themselves at home, and this is why we want you to understand the critical connection between dental and body health. You can learn more about this below.

How Infection and Illness Begins

We all have fibers that pull the gums around the neck and the tooth, so it sits nice and snug. This seal is designed to keep bacteria out. If these were to pass into the tissues from the mouth, your immune system would begin to work overdrive. The seal is weakened when an infection is present in the gums. This allows things to get past the gums and into the bloodstream, causing many problems.

  • Infection – bacteria from the mouth can travel to any other site in the body once they are in the bloodstream.
  • Inflammation – bacteria can get into the bloodstream and the body will respond to this with a large immune response, raising body temperature and causing inflammation. 
  • Injury – bacteria in the blood can turn into something else, such as proteins that can injure tissue permanently.

How Your Dental Health May Affect Your Body

If you don’t take care of your mouth properly, bacteria can build up on your gums, and they can become infected. Your body will then try to fight the infection, and this will usually result in inflamed gums. If you don’t do anything about this in good time, this may eat away at your gum and tooth tissue. You may eventually be diagnosed with periodontitis, which is a severe gum disease.

Not only do you run the risk of developing severe gum disease, you may also experience a number of other health issues. These include:

  • During Pregnancy – scientists believe that gum disease can contribute to fetal development issues. It’s best to catch problems early, so book a dental exam as early as possible. We can help you if you want to make sure you start your pregnancy in the healthiest way possible. 
  • Heart Disease – 91% of patients with heart disease also have some form of gum disease. It’s also linked to an unhealthy diet and tobacco use. Inflammation in the mouth can travel to the blood vessels. Eventually, this makes it difficult for blood to travel to the heart due to plaque build up. Ultimately, this can lead to a heart attack or a stroke. 
  • Diabetes – Inflammation in the mouth makes it difficult for the endocrine system to adequately regulate blood sugar. High blood sugar provides bacteria with the ideal environment for growing and thriving, leading to oral infections. This is the reason why patients with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes should be seen by a dental professional more frequently. If you have diabetes, get in touch with us to see how we can help you improve your oral health. 
  • Cancer – the same bacteria that cause gum disease may be responsible for certain types of cancer. Scientists have discovered that some cancerous tumors and the bacteria that cause gum disease actually share an enzyme. Taking care of your mouth could mean keeping different types of cancer at bay. 
  • Osteoporosis – this is a condition where the bone tissue begins to get thinner, bringing a loss of bone density. As periodontal disease can lead to bone loss, the link between these two has been carefully studied. Studies showed that women with periodontal disease were more likely to have bone loss in the jaw, which in turn leads to tooth loss.

Other conditions that have been closely linked to poor oral health include: 

  • IBS
  • Breast cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Weight gain
  • Alzheimer’s 
  • Bacterial pneumonia
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

At Chappaqua Dentistry, we will go above and beyond to keep our patient’s mouths clean and healthy. We can spot issues early on, ensuring they are dealt with effectively and that no further health conditions will become apparent. Keeping twice yearly dental appointments as an adult is extremely important, but you may make more frequent appointments if you have existing oral issues or a condition such as diabetes.

At our practice, we equip our patients with the knowledge and tools needed to take care of their teeth properly at home. In the long run, thorough oral hygiene practices will pay off as you will live a longer, happier life.

Schedule a Consultation

If you want to make sure you have no underlying issues or that you’re taking care of your teeth as best you can, contact our practice for a consultation today.

We will talk you through what we can do for you so you understand us and our methods, and help to manage expectations so we’re all on the same page. We have many returning patients in Westchester thanks to our friendly, welcoming atmosphere and relaxed treatment methods. Don’t hesitate – contact us today and speak to a friendly member of the team!