Can Skipping the Dentist Impact Your Overall Health?

Skipping the dentist can put you at risk for issues such as cavities or gum disease, but did you know missing those regular check-ups can also put your overall health at risk?

Your oral health may contribute to the development of conditions such as:

  • Heart disease: Research shows that endocarditis (an infection of the inner lining of the heart) typically occurs when bacteria from another part of the body, such as the mouth, spreads through the blood stream and attaches to damaged areas in the heart. In addition, studies suggest that clogged arteries and stroke may be linked to the inflammation and infections that oral bacteria can cause.
  • Respiratory infections: A recent study warns that untreated gum disease may lead to infections in your lungs, including pneumonia. The study suggested that breathing in the bacteria from infected teeth was the cause of damage of the lungs.

Not only can poor oral care contribute to the development of conditions, but it can also add strain to pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes. Diabetics may find that gum disease may make it harder to control blood sugar levels. In addition, diabetics are more susceptible to periodontal disease, so routine check-ups with a dentist are encouraged to help manage symptoms.

Moral of the story: do your best to visit the dentist at least twice a year!