According to a 2016 report in Huffington Post Australia, almost a third of all Australian adults have a form of untreated tooth decay while one-sixth of the population cannot recall their last appointment at the dentist. Other troubling news finds that working Australians are more prone to oral care neglect, with 3 in 10 adults having untreated tooth decay. And despite improved access to healthcare, the current levels of dental diseases recorded in the country are higher than ever.
Such statistics sound even more grim when you consider the growing evidence that suggests that your oral health is not just important to your mouth, but to your overall health in general.
Ongoing scientific research suggests that your mouth, gums, and teeth may also be providing important cues about other health conditions, such as heart disease, stroke diabetes, and respiratory problems. To help drive home the message, we give you our top 5 reasons why you should never neglect your teeth:
Mounting evidence suggests that people with diabetes are at higher risk of developing gum disease. Due to the altered immune response experienced by people with diabetes, diabetic patients may be more susceptible to the bacteria that cause gum disease, and exposed to more aggressive forms of the dental ailment. This is also related to the under performing small blood vessels that are common amongst poorly controlled diabetics, which affects the way the gums respond and heal – hence their increased susceptibility to gum disease.
Research suggests that this heart condition may be caused by a strain of oral bacteria, that is prevalent in people who suffer from periodontitis, an advanced type of gum disease. When the bacteria enters the bloodstream, it can cause an infection of the inner lining of the heart, which particularly affects those with weak immune systems or previously damaged heart valves.
Heart Disease and Stroke
Similar research suggests that periodontitis is also connected to heart disease, clogged arteries and stroke. The plaque that develops on your teeth over time may enter your blood stream and cause blockages resulting in heart attack or stroke.
There are a number of studies conducted on respiratory infections that suggest the link between the periodontal pockets – acting as a reservoir of bacteria – and risk factors that give rise to respiratory infections. Scientists have found a number of oral bacteria present in the lungs of pneumonia patients, which led them to believe that the bacteria can travel from the oral cavity into the lungs and cause an infection.
Many toxic species of germs have been found in plaque samples within periodontal pockets. The microscopic germs can breed and multiply within the lungs that over time, causing damage to the organ.
Besides making your bones weak and brittle, it seems that Osteoporosis can also affect your teeth in the same way. In fact, if the disease is allowed to compromise the structural integrity of your jawbone over time, it can even contribute to tooth loss.
If you’re worried about any dental related problem or simply want to have a check-up, please contact Sydney CBD Dental at (02) 9232 3900.