According to Dr. William C. Knowler from USA, “Diabetic people with periodontal disease have increased death rates due to cardio vascular disease and renal failure.” A lot of research in USA and Europe has shown that infected tooth and gums can lead to degrading of general health and untimely death. Even start of life can be fragile if born to a mother with gum disease. It has been proved that babies born to such mothers have low birth weight.
In an Italian study it was found that infected teeth and gums pump huge amounts of dangerous bacteria (pus) in blood during eating and swallowing. This is the main cause for heart problems and diabetes. All patients with these ailments should get periodic dental treatment to eliminate infection in mouth which will lead to improvement in their disease and reduce medicine intake.
The history of man’s fight for health began when he was completely at the mercy of nature, with no effective means of combating its hazards. Then came the slow process of healing that occupied man for centuries as he advanced in civilization. Research in medical and dental sciences has resulted in a dramatic acceleration in health knowledge. However it is rather ironical that few of us understand what health is, in the real sense, and even today, oral (dental) health is at the height of negligence.
Oral health cannot be separated from general health, since oral disease may be a manifestation of, or an aggravating factor of a systemic disorder. Consequently, action taken to improve or maintain dental health will safeguard general health.
For many individuals, the teeth are of such low value that few attempts are made to preserve or protect them. Early symptoms of disease frequently go unnoticed or are regarded of little importance.
This attitude has to be changed for good and importance has to be given for oral hygiene maintenance and good oral health, for the dental diseases can be as life threatening as any other disease.
The common dental diseases are dental caries, periodontal disease, commonly known as diseases of gums, tooth cavities and the most important oral cancer. Since dental caries and periodontal disease are of crucial significance to the improvement of dental health, they should be given top priority.
Dental caries initially begins as blackish discoloration, later forms a cavity, which can be filled with a suitable filling material. However, if this is left untreated, it infects the pulp, forming an abscess in the bone surrounding the tooth, which is very painful and associated with fever and weakness.
Treatment at this stage is root canal treatment, which involves cleaning and disinfecting of the whole tooth up to the root tip and filling it up with materials that act as artificial pulp. The other choice of treatment is extraction and later placing an artificial dental prosthesis.
If the patient ignores his pain and does not seek dental help, the tooth abscess can extend into tissue spaces causing facial and neck swelling such as cellulites, tissue space infections, and Ludwig angina that manifests as fever, malaise, difficulty in swallowing, breathing, generalized barteremia, septicemia, suffocation and even death if adequate emergency operations are not done.
Poor dental hygiene, periodontal diseases or periapical infections can induce bacteremia. According to the American Heart Association Report 1990, patients at high risk of infective endocarditic should maintain highest level of oral health to reduce potential sources of bacterial seeding.
Studies have shown that a variety of intracranial complications may occur as a result of dental infections. Oral foci of infection may aggravate many systemic diseases like arthritis, particularly Rheumatoid and Rheumatic fever types, sub acute bacterial endocarditis (SABE), gastro intestinal diseases, ocular diseases, skin diseases and renal diseases.
Patients with Rheumatoid arthritis should get abscessed tooth removed because removal of such infected tissues will improve the general health. SABE, can without doubt be related to oral infection because of the close similarity between the etiologic agent of the disease and micro organisms found in the oral cavity.
Gastro intestinal diseases result from oral foci of infection because of the constant swallowing of pus from gums and teeth. Common skin diseases and renal diseases have been attributed to foci of infection present in oral cavity or else where.
Periodontal disease is associated with improper oral hygiene and improper tooth brushing. Hence a professional cleaning and advice have to be obtained every 6-12 months from a dentist. This disease if neglected, can lead to bleeding of gums and loosening of teeth. This leads to pain while chewing, which in turn causes improper digestion of food. The most important problem encountered is foul smell from the mouth, which may lead to social embarrassment.
Another major problem encountered nowadays is oral cancer, which is now seen even in the younger generation. This has been related to Gutkha chewing, Pan chewing, smoking and various other tobacco products. These cancers when not detected in the early stages, can be very harmful. It spreads all over the face and neck causing disfigurement and life threatening problems. Hence early detection of these conditions will save a lot of complications.
As it is said “Health is Wealth” and prevention is the best form of cure. Early diagnosis and treatment of dental problems can help prevent complications that are life threatening..........Read More on Mouth Body Connection
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