Poor Oral Health Affects Diabetes and Heart Disease: Discuss Good Oral Health With an Affordable Dentist in Ypsilanti, MI

by | Mar 8, 2017 | Dentistry

Cavities are not the worst problem resulting from poor oral hygiene. A simple toothache can indicate there may be health issues elsewhere in the body. Lack of regular brushing, flossing, and treatment at an Affordable Dentist in Ypsilanti MI can result in some very serious health consequences.

Diabetes and Oral Health

It’s been known for years that type 2 diabetics are more likely to have gum disease or periodontitis. Researchers at Columbia University measured the level of periodontic bacteria for 20 years in 9,296 people who didn’t have diabetes.

Those people with higher levels of periodontal disease were twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes. The exact reason for this is unknown, but researchers suggested that mouth infections can eventually cause a low-grade inflammation throughout the body, making it much more difficult for the body to process sugar as it should. There are many different types of inflammatory molecules, and some could attach to insulin receptors, preventing cells from using insulin on glucose.

Heart Disease and Oral Health

There are many factors influencing the risk of heart diseases, such as poor diet, smoking, and aging, that it’s been difficult for researchers to identify a specific causal link between cardiovascular issues and poor oral health.

One of the best studies was funded by the National Institutes of Health in 2005. They randomly selected 1,056 participants who had no history of prior heart attacks or strokes and evaluated the level of periodontal bacteria. After removing risk factors such as age, smoking, and gender, they found there was an independent relationship between heart disease and gum disease.
The researcher’s theory is that minuscule quantities of “bad” bacteria enter the bloodstream during chewing. These bacteria become lodged in blood vessels and can eventually cause a dangerous blockage.

  • There is support for this theory. Fragments of periodontal bacteria have been discovered in atherosclerotic or blocked blood vessels.
  • The New England Journal of Medicine published a study showing that aggressively treating gum disease reduced the chances of developing atherosclerosis within six months.

Good oral hygiene affects a lot more than your smile. Washtenaw General Dentistry Associates can handle all your dental needs, including preventive professional cleanings and treatment of cavities. Learn about the most effective oral hygiene methods to use at home from this affordable dentist in Ypsilanti MI. Schedule an appointment today for each family member. Preventing gum disease could be life-saving.

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