Link Found Between Gum Disease, Diabetes and Strokes

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You may write off sore gums and dry mouth as conditions particularly related to your oral health, but many dentists are now seeing a direct correlation between the health of your mouth and the health of your entire body.

Maintaining a close observation of your oral health can help warn you of other, more serious illnesses and diseases. Continual dry mouth can be an indication of dehydration or a reaction to medication, but it can also be a warning that you are suffering from Sjorgren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease, which attacks and damages the salivary glands.

The oral and overall health connection can also work the other way, with poor oral hygiene leading to severe problems such as diabetes and heart disease.

Dr Krushna Reddy, a dental surgeon at Pacific Healthcare Specialist Centre, discussed the link between gum disease and heart disease: “Current study findings suggest that periodontal infections create wounds in the mouth that enables bacteria and their products (endotoxins) to travel in the blood stream, thereby enhancing inflammatory damage to the blood vessels.”

When this bacteria enters your blood stream, it binds with fatty plaque and blocks up the vessels and arteries forming blood clots, which can then lead to severe heart disease and strokes.

The same has been found with diabetes, which can occur when damaged, inflamed gums are treated by the body with cytokines, which then disrupt the natural function of insulin, leading to a resistance and ending in diabetes.

The state of your oral health, therefore, is a great deal more important than was once thought, and maintenance and regular dental check-ups can save you from much more than just a filling.


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