Two major conditions affect teeth- caries (tooth decay) and periodontal disease (gum disease).
Our mouths are full of bacteria. These germs in our mouth use the sugar in food to make acids. Over time the acids can attack the tooth, creating decay leading to a cavity. These bacteria along with mucus and other particles, constantly form a sticky colorless film called plaque on teeth. Plaque that is not removed can harden and form tartar that brushing doesn’t clean. Only professional cleaning by a dental health professional can remove tartar.
The longer plaque and tartar are on teeth, the more harmful they become. The bacteria cause inflammation of gums causing gum bleeding and irritation. Untreated gum disease can advance to periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease which involves loss of bone and tissue that hold teeth in place. The gums pull away from the teeth and form spaces called pockets that become infected.
The World Oral Health report stated clearly that the relationship between oral health and general health is proven by evidence.
- Poor oral health is significantly associated with major chronic diseases.
- Oral health issues and major disease share common risk factors.
- Poor oral health causes disability.
Major chronic diseases associated with poor oral health.
- Cardiovascular disease: Studies have reported that both periodontal disease and total loss of teeth were associated with greater risk of cardiovascular disease. Infection caused by periodontitis (gum disease) has shown to cause atherosclerosis. This is an insidious process that typically takes decades to worsen to the point of causing signs and symptoms.
- Diabetes: Research suggest that the relationship between periodontal disease and diabetes goes both ways- the presence of periodontal disease may make it more difficult for diabetics to control their blood sugar. Severe periodontal disease can increase blood sugar levels. This put diabetics at increased risk for diabetic complications.
- Stroke: A study by Janket et al reported the relationship between periodontital disease and stroke to be much stronger than that between periodontal disease and CVD. Dentists usually provide antibiotic cover to patients who have abnormal heart valves to prevent bacteria entering the blood during dental treatment & causing an infection of the valves called SBE (Subacute bacterial endocarditis). However, poor dental hygiene and periodontal disease may cause bacteria in the blood even in the absence of dental procedures.
Eliminating the risk of developing or worsening existing systemic chronic diseases is the focus of many advanced dental health care centres. At Cosmodent India, we take special care in treating oral health problems in a comprehensive and meticulous way for the overall well being of the patient.