Research Seeks to Further Understand the Mouth/Body Connection

Research Seeks to Further Understand the Mouth/Body Connection

If you search Google for dental bridges in Lakewood, CO, there’s a good chance that you have developed some type of serious oral health problem. At Advanced Family Dental, we want our patients to understand that their oral health means more than just the health of their teeth and gums. Research has found that patients who experience tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss have a significantly higher risk for developing a range of chronic health problems that include heart disease, stroke, and even dementia.

Researchers estimate that there are at least 700 different kinds of bacteria that live in the mouth, some of which can cause the development of gum disease and other infections. An increasing body of evidence has linked those infections to the development of chronic illnesses in other parts of the body, including the heart and brain.

While researchers have long understood that a connection exists, they’ve been uncertain about which comes first of why. However, recent research reveals that chronic illnesses develop in the mouth decades before chronic illnesses develop elsewhere in the body, potentially signaling that gum disease and poor oral health could serve as a warning sign for future health problems.

If searching for dental bridges in Lakewood, CO means your current oral health is in jeopardy, then that could also signify other potential problems as well.

Gum Disease Linked with Dementia

Many people find it surprising to learn that the mouth triggers activity throughout the body. The mouth is truly a gateway to the rest of the body. When bacteria and inflammation develops in the mouth, it can enter into the bloodstream and travel throughout, laying the foundation for future illness.

In a recent 2020 study, researchers at the University of Minnesota found that middle-age patients with gum disease were more likely to develop dementia or cognitive impairment over the next 20 years when compared to those of a similar age with healthy gums. Patients who had experienced tooth loss as a result of severe gum disease were twice as likely to experience a loss of brain health, according to the research team.

As people age, the balance of bad and good bacteria in the mouth swings in the wrong direction. This creates an oral environment more prone to the development of gum disease and other types of infections. These infections then lay the groundwork that more serious diseases, like heart disease, diabetes, and dementia, can grow from.

However, researchers have yet to find evidence of a direct causal connection. Does developing gum disease weaken the body and make it more prone to developing other infections. Or, do systemic diseases present early on as gum disease? Either way, researchers believe that gum disease should act as an early warning sign for the potential development of more serious health problems down the line.

Protecting Your Health

Whether gum disease increases the risk of future illness or the seeds of chronic illness make gum disease more likely, regular dental care can provide the protection your health needs.

Frequent exams and cleanings from our team at Advanced Family Dental can help to protect your gum from disease and inflammation. Should your oral health start to deteriorate, our team can work to improve the health of your smile, which then lowers your risk for all of the types of diseases we’ve previously covered.

There is a connection that links our oral and overall health. By taking the steps necessary to protect the health of your smile, not only will you not need to ever search for dental bridges in Lakewood, CO but you’ll also improve your overall health as well.

 

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