How Oral Health Relates to Overall Wellness
Did you know that there is a strong connection between oral health and general health? Medical researchers all over the world have classified gum disease as one of the top risk factors for a variety of serious conditions, some of which are life-threatening.
According to The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, gum disease is ranked fifth in the list of prevalent health issues locally. All over the country, Australians spend upwards of billion dollars on dental services annually. This figure has grown by 15 per cent in comparison to the last decade alone.
Oral Health and Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is one of the most serious diseases linked to gum disease. It is more common than other forms of cancer such as Hodgkin’s disease, melanoma, and leukemia. It also beats cancers of the liver, stomach, brain, ovaries and cervix in terms of occurrence.
As a matter of fact, three Australians are diagnosed with oral cancer every day. Still, awareness of the disease is still lacking among the general population. According to Dr. Michael Foley, vice chair of the Australian Dental Association’s Oral Health Committee, smoking and drinking can increase the risk of developing oral cancer by more than 80 per cent. Aside from the heavy consumption of alcohol and tobacco, the human papilloma virus (HPV) transmitted through unprotected oral sex has also been shown to cause oral cancer.
While there is a cure for it in its early stages, the disease results in death and disfigurement once it has progressed. At Putney Periodontics, we offer oral cancer screening services on top of a general periodontal examination. Remember, prevention is always better than cure.
Oral Health and Heart Disease
Scientific studies have also discovered a potential link between gum disease and heart disease. To support this claim, researchers have theorised that the bacteria found in gum disease enters the bloodstream, aiding in the creation of blood clots and narrowed arteries. These are the top causes of heart attacks among men and women.
Oral Health and Diabetes
Modern research notes that diabetes, a group of metabolic diseases involving high blood sugar levels, is directly related to gum disease as well. In Australia, diabetics are rapidly growing in number, affecting the lives of millions of children and adults. Chances are, a diabetic patient is also a likely sufferer of gum disease, as these people find it hard to control their blood sugar levels.
Nearly one-third of patients with advanced gum disease or periodontitis suffer teeth pulling away from the gums by at least 5 mm. On top of their daily medications, it is critical for diabetics to seek a professional oral health consultation to monitor their blood sugar.
Oral Health and Pregnancy Risks
For pregnant women, gum disease has a significant impact on their unborn children. Some studies have found that expectant mothers who have untreated gum disease, be it before or during pregnancy, are up to seven times more likely to deliver low birth weight babies. Sometimes, these babies are delivered prematurely as well.
Putney Periodontics are readily available to help you with your oral health. For a comprehensive oral exam or corrective surgery please contact our friendly team at (02) 9809 6888.