People these days are becoming more intentional about their overall health. Curiously, though, oral health is still being relegated to the background.
The truth is that neglecting oral health is detrimental to one’s overall health. The mouth functions as the portal to the whole body, and failing to care for one’s oral health will leave the body vulnerable to many health problems and chronic diseases.
If you’re considering registering for dental hygienist training, the subject of the mouth-body connection is bound to come up at some point. Understanding what it is will help you approach your training and any future role in the industry from a position of strength. On that note, read on to discover three key facts about the mouth-body connection.
1. Diabetes Is Linked To Poor Oral Health, As You’ll Discover in Dental Hygienist School
Anyone seeking to explore the connection between the mouth and the rest of the body simply needs to examine the relationship between diabetes and periodontitis. The body’s capacity to regulate blood sugar appears to be weakened by inflammation that originates in the mouth.
To better understand this, it’s best to start from the beginning. In dental hygienist school, you’ll learn about the fibres that surround each tooth and pull the gums firmly around the tooth, protecting bacteria from entering the bloodstream. If bacteria manages to slip into the bloodstream through cracks in the gums, the immune system will inflame the gums and the whole body in response. If left untreated, this inflammation can cause severe gum disease (periodontitis) along with a slew of other problems in the rest of the body.
Diabetes is made more difficult by periodontal disease because the inflammation makes it difficult for the body to utilize insulin. Adding to the complexity is the fact that diabetes and periodontitis are linked.
The link between diabetes and periodontitis further complicates matters. Infections, including gum infections, thrive when blood sugar levels are high. On the flip side, the association between gum disease and diabetes means that controlling one can help regulate the other.
2. Poor Oral Health Can Be Linked To Heart Disease
It is obvious that gum disease and heart disease frequently coexist, despite the fact that the causes are not entirely known. According to research, the incidence of heart failure in people with severe periodontitis was 5.72 times higher when compared to people with mild or no periodontitis. There are various risk factors for both diseases in common, including smoking, a poor diet, and being overweight. Additionally, some believe that periodontitis directly contributes to an increased risk of heart disease.
The link between periodontitis and heart failure may well turn out to be poor lifestyle choices, but what’s clear is that the presence of plaque on the teeth usually indicates the presence of plaque in the heart.
3. Poor Oral Health Can Lead to High Blood Pressure
The activities of bacteria around the teeth that manage to penetrate the gums into the bloodstream, and the body’s inflammatory response, can contribute to high blood pressure in affected persons. Continued inflammation of the body system can result in high blood pressure, which can lead to the thickening of blood vessels. From there, health problems, such as kidney disease and coronary heart disease, may be inevitable. Dental hygienist training advances proper oral care as one of the ways to foster proper mouth-body connection.
Are you ready to begin your dental hygienist diploma program?
Contact CADH to learn how you can get started.