This time of year many patients find themselves susceptible to the common cold, fevers, and allergy attacks. However, a great number of people remain unaware that oral health plays an important role in determining health throughout the human body. Rinsing with mouthwash everyday can’t stop the common cold, but several other health issues link back to poor oral health. Your Waco dentist, Dr. Corbet Locke, discusses a few of the ways poor oral health can make you sick.

Heart Problems and Oral Health

Harmful bacteria reside in your mouth. Bacteria can enter the bloodstream and cause a variety of problems, especially around the heart. Doctors often find harmful oral bacteria attached to heart tissue in patients suffering from endocarditis. Studies show that people with gum disease increase their chance of developing heart problems by nearly 50{dcbe0cd52ce35e2f156887e14605e24111ce99c14f01d3853732956d43020bdd} because of their poor oral health.

Dementia Risks

Currently, gum disease affects nearly 80{dcbe0cd52ce35e2f156887e14605e24111ce99c14f01d3853732956d43020bdd} of the American adult population. Recent studies determined that cognitive mental function links back to oral health in some shape or fashion. Scientists conducted cognitive function tests on 152 Alzheimer’s patients. The one half of the patients whom exhibited signs of periodontal disease were nine times likelier to score in the lowest percentile of examination versus the half of patients whom did not show the presence of gum disease. Gum disease acts as the leading cause of adult tooth loss in America.

Scientists also linked the loss of chewing ability to an increase in the likelihood of developing dementia. Similar studies showed that people over the age of 70 maintained their cognitive mental function at higher rates if they also maintained their ability to chew hard foods like apples. Replacing missing teeth can effectively restore chewing ability for many patients. Dental implants serve as a reliable tooth replacement option. Patients can replace multiple teeth with dental implants or a single tooth.

Gum Disease Prevention

Dental hygiene and attending regularly scheduled six-month checkups remain the most effective means of combating gum disease. Always brush twice daily, floss regularly, and use an antimicrobial mouthwash twice per day.

Schedule a Preventive Dentistry Visit

Interested in learning more about importance of oral health? Still unclear about the oral-systemic connection? Due for a checkup? Schedule an appointment by calling our Waco dentist office at (254) 776-4888. We welcome patients from Waco, Woodway, McGregor, Hewitt, the 76712 zip code, and surrounding communities.