When we think about our health, we often overlook our smile, but we really need to rethink this point of view. Our mouths are the first line of defense to many of our health issues, so maintaining good dental health is imperative to our overall health. But it also can work in the opposite direction – certain health conditions can affect your dental health.
One instance of this is diabetes – patients with poorly controlled diabetes can have very severe dental problems. The lack of blood supply can contribute to infections in the gums and bones beneath teeth, and high blood sugar can cause dry mouth, where the resulting lack of saliva contributes to an increase in bacterial buildup and tooth decay.
Sleep apnea, a medical condition where the body tissue often blocks the airway, causing significant sleep problems, can cause dry mouth leading to bacterial buildup and tooth decay, jaw fatigue leading to TMJ disorders, and in some cases bruxism (tooth grinding), which wears down tooth enamel, and can cause tooth loss as teeth are damaged during sleep.
But don’t worry – there is plenty of hope. Keeping up a healthy diet can contribute to a healthy mouth. Avoiding foods high in sugar and acid can help minimize your risk of tooth decay, and maintaining sufficient calcium is necessary for bone and tooth health. Couple that with brushing, flossing, and regular cleaning, and you have healthy teeth and gums. So, if you’re having medical issues, mention them to your dentist – it may help in diagnosing and treating problems they see within your mouth.
To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton in Riverside, CA at (951) 688-3442 or visit www.gmdental.com.
Dr. Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside and all surrounding areas.