Did you know that researchers from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research have recently shown that people with gum disease are more likely to develop heart disease or experience difficulty controlling blood sugar than those that do not have gum disease. For a long time it was thought that bacteria was the factor that linked periodontal disease to other diseases in the body; however, more recent research demonstrates that inflammation may be responsible for the association. While researchers continue to find associations between oral health and the overall health of the body, as of yet it hasn’t been determined whether gum disease is the sole cause of these health conditions.
Without a doubt, what can be shown is that good oral health isn’t just about maintaining a healthy smile; it has an impact on the health of your entire body.
Therefore, treating inflammation may not only help manage periodontal diseases but may also help with the management of other chronic inflammatory conditions.
Ignoring the links between the health of one’s mouth and the health of the body are done at one’s own peril. Despite a lack of absolutely conclusive proof, researchers believe that it is not just a coincidence that gum disease and other health problems occur together.
Consider these four possible connections between the health of your mouth and the health of your body.
• Clogged arteries are associated with excessive oral inflammation
• The American Society of Microbiology has shown that certain types of oral bacteria can infect the arterial cells and weaken the wall of the heart.
• Loose teeth are often believed to be a warning sign for osteoporosis, a disease that causes the bones to become less dense.
• Some studies suggest women with gum disease are more likely than those without gum disease to deliver preterm, low-weight babies.
Orthodontics and gum disease
So what does undergoing orthodontic treatment at Feinberg Orthodontics have to do with gum disease? Braces do so much more than give you a nice-looking smile. Quite simply, straight teeth are easier to keep clean than crooked teeth. Your toothbrush is able to remove more plaque-causing bacteria, and your floss is more effective at ridding tiny particles between your teeth.
Despite the lack of hard facts in these findings, the message is clear: If you improve your oral health, you will also have a greater chance of maintaining the health of your entire body. And that’s a chance Dr. Feinberg and our team at Whitlock Orthodontics believe is worth taking. For more information about this topic, please give us a call at our convenient office or ask Dr. Feinberg during your next visit!