Your mouth is a window into your health – it can reveal so much about how the rest of your body is working and this includes your gum health. We’ve come a long way in terms of understanding the link between our gum health and overall health, though we still have a long way to go in terms of fully comprehending certain links. Below, we discuss the relationship between the two.
Gum disease and Alzheimer’s
In January 2019, the NHS published information about a study that unearthed a rapport between gum disease and the onset of Alzheimer’s. Whilst there’s still light to be shed on the degree of damage gum disease can have on the brain, the evidence was found to reveal that gum disease plays a “central role” in the development of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Gum disease and cardiovascular issues
Gum disease is characterised as an infection of the tissues that help support your teeth and is caused by a build up of harmful, bacteria AKA plaque. When plaque is allowed to linger for long enough, it inflames the gums and this can then affect the bloodstream, damaging blood vessels in your heart and brain. Inevitably, this increases your chance of stroke but there is still so much education needed to increase awareness of this. Shockingly, only 1 in 6 people are aware of the link between gum disease and stroke. If you’d like to learn more about this, please don’t hesitate to ask your dentist here at Corner House who will be more than happy to answer questions. The NHS website also has some useful information if you want to learn more about gum disease and heart issues.
Gum disease and diabetes
Another link that many people might not be aware of – poorly managed blood sugar levels can lead to damaged nerves, kidneys, blood vessels and feet and this can impact gums in the same way. When sugar level go out of balance, glucose levels in saliva start to rise and this creates the perfect home for bacteria to settle, increasing the chance of developing gum disease. If you have diabetes, make sure you ask your dentist how often you should be getting check-ups as you will need to visit more often than someone without the condition.
Don’t leave your dental hygiene to chance
Visiting the hygienist as a preventative measure, even when you don’t feel there’s anything specifically wrong with you, is an essential part of making sure you maintain healthy gums.
If you would like to book yourself in for a routine hygienist appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We look forward to welcoming you to our Norwich practice.