Dental plaque is already known by many to lead to a very unhealthy mouth, contributing to diseases such as gingivitis. If you think the detriment stops there, however, plaque is more dangerous than you realize. This filmy substance affects more than just your gums and teeth, and can do so to a deadly extent. Read on to learn more about dental plaque’s ill effects on your health.
Untreated or severe gingivitis can lead to gum disease, which painfully breaks down gum tissue and attacks the bones holding your teeth in place. Infections form underneath the gums, leaving your immune system to attempt treating it by causing said gum destruction. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults, and plaque is the leading cause of gum disease. This disease can start and progress painlessly, so keep an eye on how much plaque you have.
Research suggests a correlation between poor gums and heart disease, likely due to plaque getting into the bloodstream from the gums. While it might not cause heart problems, it can increase your risk. Good dental hygiene and regular dental visits are a must if you want to avoid this fallout. When you visit dentists like Dr. Harris Roger M III at Greenville Sedation Dentistry, who are professionally trained to handle issues related to the mouth, don’t neglect to mention other potentially related health problems. Being transparent can help you get more personalized care.
Poor dental health and gum disease may also influence the development of dementia. Bacterial debris present in unhealthy gums may travel the brain and destroy healthy tissue, though research is ongoing. Tooth loss may also have an effect. As always, regular brushing and flossing and ward this off.
Diabetes and Rheumatoid Arthritis
These two diseases comingle with plaque and gum disease for an overall negative effect, oftentimes leading to a heightened risk for dental problems. They may also cause greater inflammation problems, especially if either disease isn’t under control. While neither condition causes dental problems, or vice versa, it’s worth considering the potential toll. Conversely, treating one condition can weaken the symptoms of the other.
Remember your dental health the next time you visit a doctor. Though plaque might be easy to dismiss, it builds up and corrodes as you do. The listed health effects are no small nuisance, so it pays to be aware of what dental plaque you have. More than your mouth could be damaged.