When you think of poor oral health, you might think of cavities or inflamed gums. You might be surprised to know that poor oral health can actually put your overall health and life at risk. This guide will explain the surprising ways that poor oral health can harm you, and what you should do if you're experiencing the symptoms of late-stage gum disease.
Bacteria Migrating To The Brain & Heart
Gum disease and tooth decay can destroy tissue, break down bone and cause tooth loss. Beyond that, however, it can also harm your heart and brain, sometimes even resulting in death.
When tooth decay or gum disease is left untreated, it can result in a bacterial infection called a tooth abscess. These infections are painful and can result in the loss of a tooth, but the bacteria behind the infection can also be deadly. If this bacteria reaches the blood stream, it can migrate to the brain, where it can cause a brain abscess. A brain abscess can potentially block blood vessels leading to the brain and can cause brain swelling, which may result in death if left untreated.
Dental bacteria can also migrate to the heart, where it increases the risk of heart disease, heart attacks; it can also potentially cause clogged arteries. While rare, there are known cases of brain abscess deaths and heart disease deaths that were caused by poor oral health.
Maintaining your oral health is the best way to prevent these terrible medical complications, but if you experience any of these symptoms of advanced gum disease or a tooth abscess, make sure to see a dentist immediately:
- Loose Teeth - Teeth that are wiggly, loose, or shifting to the left or right may indicate gum disease or a tooth abscess.
- Sick Gums - Gums may be swollen, bloody, or pull back from the teeth.
- Immune Response - You may notice signs that your body is fighting an infection, like a fever, swollen lymph nodes, or pus oozing from your gums.
Whether you think you're experiencing something as simple as tartar buildup or as severe as the symptoms of severe gum disease, you should see a dentist immediately. A dentist at a clinic like Hernandez Dental will be able to clean your teeth and gums, drain and treat infections, and take steps to stop decay from progressing to the bone.
Something as simple as seeing a dentist regularly and maintaining your oral health can prevent terrible diseases that can potentially end lives. The next time you have symptoms that your teeth and gums have a problem, like bleeding gums or a toothache, don't put off treatment: see a dentist immediately.