A Holistic Dentist Discusses The Connection Between The Mouth and Body

holistic dentist Santa Clara, CA

You may not think your oral health has much to do with physical health, but a holistic dentist does. In the past five to 10 years, more researchers have studied the link between the mouth and the body. The results have been surprising. For example, people who have gum disease have a 40% higher risk of having chronic conditions like diabetes. Pregnant women also need to be aware of their oral health before the baby’s birth.

The mouth and body link

It can be helpful to understand the problems in the mouth that cause health issues. This can help patients understand how they can link to other issues. For example, the gums can become infected from bacteria in the mouth. The body’s immune system attacks the bacteria, causing gum inflammation.

The inflammation can release harmful chemicals. These eat away the bone structure and gums, weakening the teeth. This is known as periodontitis, or gum disease. The inflammation can also cause serious problems in other parts of the body.

Diabetes

A holistic dentist knows that periodontitis can cause diabetes. This is one of the most common types of problems. The inflammation can reduce the body’s control of blood sugar because it affects insulin production. When an individual has periodontitis, the body is not able to use insulin very well.

It goes both ways. Having high blood sugar gives the infection a better condition to grow in. The good news is that managing periodontitis or high blood sugar can help control other problems. Of course, it is ideal to manage both.

Heart disease

More research is needed on the link between heart disease and periodontitis. However, heart disease and gum disease are often linked. For example, some studies have shown that about 91% of patients who have heart disease also have gum disease. Only 66% of people without heart disease have periodontitis.

Excess weight, smoking and an unhealthy diet can all cause the two conditions. Some researchers believe that gum disease can raise the risk of heart disease. One theory is that having an inflamed mouth can cause the blood vessels to become inflamed. This prevents sufficient blood from traveling to the heart, which causes high blood pressure. The fatty plaque may break off of the blood vessel and go to the brain.

Pregnancy and oral health

Gum disease can also contribute to premature delivery. Because of the inflammation and infection, the baby may not properly develop. Hormone changes during pregnancy can also increase a mother’s risk of periodontitis. By visiting a holistic dentist during pregnancy, a patient can be diagnosed of periodontal disease early.

Visit a holistic dentist today

Gum disease does not just cause tooth loss. It can also cause a host of other health problems. To prevent gum disease, you should have regular visits with a holistic dentist. Periodontal disease is much easier to treat when it is caught early. It can also reduce your chances of having diabetes, heart disease or an unhealthy baby.

Call Well Being Dentistry for more information about holistic dentistry.

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