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“Gum line infections not only can worsen someone’s diabetes but also can contribute to the risk for heart disease and stroke.” Should a dentist see loose teeth, bleeding gums and other signs of gum disease, it’s possible that the patient could be diabetic. Gum line infections not only worsen someone’s diabetes, but also can contribute to the risk for heart disease and stroke. Seeing as gum disease is the most common oral health issue in diabetics, it’s important to keep on top of these warning signs. If you have gum disease, it’s possible for the bacteria in your gums to travel all the way to your heart. This can eventually lead to coronary artery disease. The bacteria can cause clots or plaque build-up in arteries that can ultimately disrupt blood flow to the heart. Should a dentist see inflamed gums and loose teeth, it can also be a sign of heart disease. A receding gum line combined with loose teeth can be a sign of osteoporosis. The bone disease causes changes in the bones that support teeth like the jaw. Those with low bone mineral density tend to lose more teeth. It’s possible that if bone loss is significant, dentures could become loose or illfitting. These are all signs that a medical doctor should check for osteoporosis. Dementia patients lose memory, have heightened confusion and are disorganized. It’s also common for a person with early dementia to have poor oral hygiene. Scientists at the University of California followed 5,000 elderly people over the course of 18 years and learned those who brushed their teeth less than once per day were 65 percent more likely to develop dementia than those who brushed daily. Should a dentist notice bone loss and a decline in general oral health, Alzheimer’s disease could be the cause. Pregnant women with periodontal disease are at risk for delivering a preterm baby. Every expectant mother is aware of the importance of maintaining good health, especially during their pregnancy. Oral health should not be missed. A healthy mouth also supports overall health. Keeping up-to-date with daily brushing and flossing, scheduled cleanings and dentist and periodontist visits will certainly help to maintain a healthy safe pregnancy for mother and baby. Understanding that there’s a major connection between oral and overall health is a key component to protecting oneself. The mouth offers many


Healthy Living • 2016

clues to any health problems going on in the body, giving doctors and dentists the chance to diagnose and properly treat before the symptoms become more serious.

Healthy Living: Top Dentists - Winter 2016  
Healthy Living: Top Dentists - Winter 2016