According to the American Dental Association nearly 25% of Americans avoid the dentist out of fear. If you are one of these people who will do anything to avoid going near a dental office, you need to know that poor oral health doesn’t just result in cavities or yellow teeth. There can be more serious consequences to not taking care of your teeth such as heart disease. This may seem far-fetched, but sadly it’s not.
Gum Disease is often a result of not taking good care of your teeth and people with gum disease are about twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease. The exact reason this is the case hasn’t been proven as of yet but you can read more about the theories on the link here: heart disease and poor oral health.
Another scary consequence of not taking care of your teeth is dementia. Experts studying the link between poor oral health and dementia believe that oral bacteria may spread to the brain through cranial nerves or through the bloodstream, contributing to the type of plaque associated with Alzheimer’s.
Researchers are also looking into the link between gum disease and respiratory infections such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). These infections may occur due to bacteria being inhaled into the lungs, which possibly cause airways to become inflamed.
Another side effect of gum disease is that it is often harder to become pregnant. It takes women with gum disease on average two months longer than woman without gum disease to become pregnant.
There is no doubt that we need to be concerned with our overall health including our oral health. If getting into the dentist for your regular check-ups is the last thing on your list, remember that the consequences could be much more serious than a toothache. Give us a call and let us know about your fears. You are not alone, we will help you through the process and make the experience as painless as possible and/or dare we say, even comfortable!