Bad Oral Health and Diabetes: A Correlation

Oral health isn’t separate from overall general health. Often we ignore the part of the body that bears the brunt of neglect and oversight. The mouth and its organs are exposed to millions of bacteria every day. This exposure causes bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease. The bacteria present in the mouth – 700 million of them – sometimes migrate to the rest of the body and impact overall health.

Human mouth is constantly exposed to the outside atmosphere. As a result of this, small quantities of bacteria keep escaping from the mouth to the body. These don’t cause much harm due to the blood barrier which inhibit and kill these bacteria in the mouth itself. Often though some oral infections disturb this state of balance and the bacteria escape, affecting other organs and causing systemic diseases.

HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN?

  • Plaque is a good storehouse of germs and inflammatory organisms which often resist treatment or are incompletely treated
  • Oral bacteria are often disseminated to distant parts of the body, called bacteremia

DISEASES BECAUSE OF BAD ORAL HYGIENE

DIABETES – A group of metabolic disorders characterised by increased blood glucose levels, increased urination and excessive thirst, diabetes can affect any part of the body. It weakens and brings down immunity. There are several complications with this ailment including retinopathy neuropathy, nephropathy, cardiovascular complications. One among them is peridontal disease. Gum infections and lowered sugar is directly related, and lowered immunity causes further harm.

ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE – A fatal, neuro-degenerative disease of the elderly, Alzheimier’s diasease has periodontitis as a risk factor. The increase in levels of proinflammatory cytokines according to research points towards these changes. It has also been suggested that when oral microorganisms – especially dental plaque – directly invade the brain triggers inflammation of the brain and its degeneration.

RESPIRATORY AILMENTS – Any diseases of the respiratory system, whether common old or serious COPD have been seen to carry bacteria that colonise the oral cavity. The continuation of the mouth to trachea and lungs have seen increased susceptibility especially since the same bacteria can increase severity of reactions, when they travel further into the respiratory system.

Oral diseases, cavities, plaque and gum problems must never be taken lightly. They build up in children, exaggerate over time and can become serious if oral hygiene like regular tooth brushing and good oral health isn’t maintained. Bring your child to us when he turns one and we’ll take care and preventive measures to ensure he doesn’t suffer from anything.

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