The 3 Major Health Risks Poor Dental Health Has Been Linked To

Most people realize that taking care of their teeth and gums is important, but often let their personal hygiene and regular dentist visits slide. Unfortunately, long-term neglect of your teeth and gums could come back to haunt you later in life. Here's what you could be putting yourself at risk of if you don't floss and brush as often as you should or haven't seen your dentist in a while.

1. Brain Health

Scientists and doctors believe that there could be a link between poor oral health and developing Alzheimer's disease or dementia later in life.

The belief is that gum disease causes long-term inflammation in the body when it's left untreated. This inflammation can cause problems throughout the body, as it isn't limited solely to where the gums and teeth are. After all, your entire body is connected by veins and arteries, so what starts in one area can potentially migrate somewhere else.

2. Cardiovascular

As with the brain, poor oral health can cause problems for your arteries and heart, too.

There are two reasons for this. The first is that inflammation can cause your arteries and veins to become more swollen, making it harder for blood to pass through easily. Over time, this can increase the risk of developing blood clots and other problems, which could cause a stroke or heart attack.

In addition, some science supports the idea that the bacteria responsible for gum disease can potentially migrate to the bloodstream. Once there, it causes damage to the walls of your arteries and veins, causing scarring and potential blockages. This can make it harder for red blood cells to squeeze through the space, so it's possible for a blood clot to result somewhere down the line.

3. Cancer Risk

Finally, recent news has broken that there may be a connection between poor oral health and developing colon cancer. Believe it or not, scientists have found that certain oral bacterias can change the way that cells function, allowing cancer cells to grow unchecked. This can potentially make it harder to stop cancer cells from spreading and allow tumors to grow more quickly in people who have too much oral bacteria versus those who don't.

There are multiple signs that allowing your oral health to worsen can potentially harm your entire body. Don't leave it to chance. Visit your dentist regularly, and take good care of your oral health at home by flossing and brushing. Contact a company like Cobbe Dental & Orthodontics today to learn more.