Today, no expert understands the body as a unit separated by isolated areas, so that what can happen in one does not affect the whole. On the contrary, “body integrity” is understood as a systemic and deeply interconnected mechanism.
Thus, what happens in one hand can eventually affect the entire motor system, or as a more spectacular example, our mental health can depend on what happens in the bacteria in our gut.
Likewise, oral health affects our entire body in many different ways, and in fact, this aspect is already considered as relevant in the recruitment of elite athletes as their cardiovascular health.
For example, a gum infection, cavity or necrosis problem at the level of the jawbone can lead to the growth of certain bacteria, whose toxins and byproducts affect the heart, joints, spine, stomach, etc.
Here are eight examples of how poor oral health can lead to serious health problems.
1. Bad smell
Although it doesn’t always have an oral origin, halitosis can be one of the milder problems stemming from poor hygiene, but it’s no less annoying for that. According to the Spanish Society of Periodontics and Osseointegration, 90% of halitosis cases are caused by poor oral health or poor oral hygiene.
Of this, 70% comes from bacteria that reside on the back of the tongue, and the remaining 30% corresponds to a gum condition known as periodontal disease.
Specifically, these bacteria are anaerobic saprophytes and live under saliva, breaking down food waste and producing sulfur, as well as short-chain volatile fatty acids called putrescine and cadaverine, due to their strong decaying odor.
They are also found in inflamed gums and teeth in poor condition, which may have internal infections that can even lead to necrosis of the jawbone.
2. Increasing the risk of premature birth
According to some experts, periodontitis, or gum infection and bleeding, may be a risk factor for pregnancy. These experts associate this disease with premature birth and low birth weight.
Periodontitis appears to be associated with the release of hormones called prostaglandins, which are responsible for labor contractions. This is how the publication periodontal disease and pregnancy collects it. Review of literature.
On the other hand, the oral hygiene of pregnant women should be extreme, because the hormonal changes that occur have a great impact on it and change the bacterial composition of the mouth.
3. Increased risk of arthritis
Again, severe periodontitis associated with poor oral hygiene that affects the gums can cause plaque bacteria to become contaminated in the space between the tooth and the gum.
These bacteria can create toxic by-products that are passed along with saliva into the stomach and into the bloodstream. When they get into the joints, they can cause inflammation in the joints of the hands and feet, collectively known as rheumatoid arthritis, and cause pain when moving the fingers.
On the other hand, the same pain can reduce the grinding of teeth and gums because it is painful and causes periodontitis.
4. Makes us candidates for myocardial infarction
A group from the Faculty of Dentistry of the University of Barcelona carried out a work to compile the literature on a topic called periodontitis as a risk factor in patients with ischemic heart disease.
In it, they highlight the strong link between serious gum infections and the possibility of heart attacks. In fact, the paper suggests that periodontitis may have been the source of many deaths throughout history that were attributed to other causes or of unknown origin.
For its part, the Taipei Veterans General Hospital conducted a statistical study from 2004 to 2011 involving 100,000 people without cardiovascular problems.
A study found that people who brushed their teeth once or twice a year reduced their risk of heart attack by 24%.
The researchers said that this positive effect is due to the fact that dental cleaning reduces the inflammation that causes the growth of bacteria that can cause the aforementioned pathologies.
5. It can make diabetes worse
It has been proven that periodontitis is more prone in people with diabetes and, in turn, is accompanied by a greater risk of disease acceleration through a retroactive loop.
The origin can be a large amount of sugar in the blood, which will contribute to a more pronounced growth of bacteria, as well as poor capitalization in diabetics, which does not allow to fight infections so well. For this reason, these people are especially advised to maintain extreme oral hygiene.
6. Increases the frequency of muscle injuries
The same toxic byproducts of bacteria that cause cavities and periodontitis and are associated with premature births, arthritis or heart problems cause an imbalance of minerals involved in muscle contraction.
In this way, the muscle gets tired sooner and is subject to tears, tendons or joint problems with great effort. Currently, when signing elite athletes, the condition of their oral cavity is very important.
A 2011 paper titled Study of the Impact of Oral Health on the Physical Condition of Professional Footballers of FC Barcelona aimed to “evaluate oral health status and its relationship to the incidence of sports injuries in professional football players”. FC Barcelona. football”.
The thesis was that “Professional football players, despite intensive medical care, have problems such as caries, gingivitis or malocclusion and often suffer from oral facial trauma. The frequency of sports injuries may be related to their oral health”.
The study concluded that “a statistically significant correlation was observed between plaque index and muscle injuries.”
7. Increases the risk of developing back problems
Oral infections can cause problems in the intervertebral discs because the back does not have good muscle tone and also due to inflammation in the joints caused by bacterial toxins.
Another cause of pain that can end up being a spinal problem is oral malocclusion, which destabilizes the trapezius and sternocleidomastoid muscles. Bruxism can also be behind back pain.
8. You can end chronic gastritis
In cases where teeth and molars are missing due to poor oral hygiene, chewing food will be less efficient and the person will tend to swallow larger pieces of food, which must therefore be spent with more work on the stomach.
In the long run, this excess of digestive function can lead to excessive secretion of gastric juice, which eventually leads to chronic gastric problems. On the other hand, digestive problems such as hernias and nighttime heartburn caused by them can affect the enamel of the teeth, making hygiene even more difficult.
How to maintain oral hygiene
Maintaining a healthy and intact mouth is possible and much cheaper than we think a priori if we observe a certain discipline and method when it comes to both eating and brushing and removing tooth surfaces and gums.
To begin with, it is important to refuse to eat daily or frequent foods that contain added sugar, such as sweets, chocolate, industrial cakes, etc.
Speaking of brushing your teeth, you should do it at least three times a day, especially at night. If there are more occasions, so much the better, but above all you must remember to do this after every meal.
The brush we use will be normal or soft but never with hard bristles. Although we believe that these types of bristles are better at removing fibers and debris stuck between the teeth, what they actually do is scratch the plaque and therefore encourage more bacteria to nest.
Brushing should not be uniform or horizontal, but from top to bottom and more frequently in hidden areas of the mouth, looking for hard-to-reach crevices. Persistence is more important than strength and the key is to remove food stuck in the interdental space.
Very important: before brushing and rinsing, we use dental floss or intercostal brushes to clean the inner surfaces, where 40% of the surface is covered with dental plaque.
We should use pharmaceutical grade toothpaste if recommended by our dentist or our periodontist, because he knows better what kind of problems our mouth faces, which often does not depend on our hygienic enthusiasm, for example. To make matters worse, the pH of our saliva can vary with age.
You should visit the dentist and periodontist at least once a year for a dental checkup and gum cleaning to eliminate tartar and the risk of periodontitis.
Brushing your teeth in seven easy steps
A 2007 study by the General Pharmacists Council concluded that 80% of the population have poor oral hygiene, which will cause problems over time; It is very likely that the condition has not improved since then, and the reason is the general ignorance we have of the best way to brush our teeth.
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Source: El Diario