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Video: "The Tip Of The Iceberg". What Teeth And Gums Have To Say About Overall Health
"The tip of the iceberg". What teeth and gums have to say about overall health
Diseases of the oral cavity can be both a cause and a consequence of somatic pathologies.
Photo: CC0 Public Domain
When we go to the dentist, we expect him to get our teeth in order. We rarely think that timely treatment of teeth and gums will help maintain the health of the entire body. Also, we do not expect that a narrow specialist, having looked into a patient's mouth, diagnoses him with a somatic illness.
Many changes in the oral cavity can be called the “tip of the iceberg”, which is directly related to overall health. Diseases of the teeth and gums can be both a cause and a consequence of diseases of other organs and systems.
Health problems that can cause dental and gum disease:
Endocarditis. This is an infectious inflammation of the inner lining of the heart. The heart valves are primarily affected. An infection (usually streptococci) enters the bloodstream from purulent foci near the teeth and enters the heart.
- Cardiovascular disease. Many studies show that in certain cases, the formation of blood clots in the arteries is associated with bacteria that are found in plaque. It has been suggested that good oral hygiene can reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks.
- Pneumonia. It is believed that certain bacteria can travel from the mouth to the lungs. This can lead to severe pneumonia and even acute respiratory distress syndrome.
- Cancer. Currently, gum disease is not believed to be the cause of cancer. But a number of studies have linked esophageal and gastric cancer to gingivitis and periodontitis. It is thought to be caused by bacteria.
Even more diseases affect the health of the oral cavity. Let's list some of them.
Diabetes mellitus reduces the body's resistance to infections. It is often accompanied by severe gum disease. Sometimes, it is the dentist who may ask the patient to check the blood sugar level. It is often elevated in people with gum disease.
- HIV infection. It is characterized by painful lesions of the oral mucosa.
- Osteoporosis can weaken the jaw bone. This leads to loss of periodontal tissue and loss of teeth.
- Alzheimer's disease. One of its manifestations is the loss of personal hygiene skills. Oral care suffers, the risk of dental pathologies increases.
The American Dental Association recommends seeing a dentist if you experience at least one of the following symptoms:
Gums bleed while brushing teeth and interdental spaces.
- The gums are swollen or painful.
- The gums move away from the teeth.
- Bad breath for a long time.
- Pus is released from the gap between the tooth and the gum.
- Teeth are mobile or falling out.
- The nature of teeth closing has changed.
- The fit of removable dentures has changed.