Keeping your teeth healthy is important, we all know that. We all know that brushing them every day stops tooth decay, making them look healthy and maintaining good breath. As if you need any more reasons to look after them, here are seven reasons why doing so is more important than you thought.
1. You Lessen Cardiovascular Disease Risk
If you have poor oral health you may contract a periodontal disease, which inflames the gums. The bacteria that cause this can make their way into the bloodstream, hardening and causing plaque build up in the arteries. This is called atherosclerosis and it leads to blood flow problems and heart blockages. You become at risk of suffering hypertension, having a stroke, suffering a heart attack, and developing endocarditis, a condition where the lining of the heart is affected.
2. You Lessen Dementia Risk
You’ve likely heard of gingivitis, but did you know that it can affect your brain? The bacteria that build up when you don’t clean your teeth properly can spread to the nerve channels or enter the bloodstream. They kill brain cells and can lead to dementia and even Alzheimer’s disease. The connection between oral health and dementia has been looked into before, but pinpointing it to gum disease was a recent development.
The body’s natural response to plaque build-up is the same response it has to any foreign invaders. It deploys the immune system to its defence. The immune system is constantly activated like this is what causes the inflammation. The brain being exposed to bacteria and/or debris from the mouth causes the immune reaction that can lead to cell death and memory loss.
3. You Lessen Risk of Pregnancy Complications
Pregnant women should also take good care of their teeth. While pregnant, women go through hormonal changes which leave them that much more vulnerable to developing oral infections. Developing any oral infections heightens the risk of problems during pregnancy. There’s a chance that expectant mothers with periodontitis and gingivitis can have premature births and infants with low birth weights.
So looking after your teeth in this scenario helps prevent serious health issues for both mother and child. Further, there’a link between poor oral health and infertility. Health issues resulting from gum disease can make it harder for a woman to conceive and to sustain a healthy pregnancy. A woman with poor oral health can actually take longer to become pregnant than a woman with good oral health.
4. Not Cleaning your Teeth could Give You Erectile Dysfunction
Bad oral hygiene from not brushing your teeth can lead to Chronic periodontal disease. This happens when the gums pull away from the teeth, leaving space in which bacteria can grow to be carried. In this space, the bacteria can spread to the bone surrounding teeth. You guessed it, they can also get into the bloodstream, causing blood vessels to become inflamed. This can block the flow of blood to the genitals, making it difficult or even impossible to achieve erections.
5. You Could Get Cancer
Once again this stems from periodontal disease. There are studies that suggest that the bacteria that cause this could also cause certain types of cancer, like pancreatic cancer. The bacterium is called Treponema denticola. It shares an enzyme with some gastrointestinal cancers, such as pancreatic cancer. The enzyme is typically found in the mouth and is the main boosting agent in the development of gum disease. The enzyme impairs the immune system’s response to cancer-related enzymes.
It’s also possible that not keeping up your oral hygiene can cause esophageal cancer. You know that tube where food goes down from the mouth to the stomach? It starts there. The mouth is a gateway for micro oral microbiota, bacteria, and other single-celled organisms. Again, it’s the diseases that they can cause which leads us to cancer. There are outside factors that influence all this, namely your habits such as drinking, smoking, and diet.
6. You Could Get Kidney Disease
Gum diseases weaken the immune system, making the risk of infection higher. You become at risk for kidney disease. which apart from the kidneys affects the heart, bones, and blood pressure. Kidney disease can lead to kidney failure or cardiovascular diseases, so this isn’t a causality chain that you’d like to follow.
7. You Could Develop Rheumatoid Arthritis
People with gum disease are four times more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis. This also stems from inflammation. Oral bacteria from gingivitis spreads throughout the body, which can lead to developing the debating and inflammatory disease.