Oral health troubles are scarier than you think

Maintain Hygiene

If you have been suffering from bleeding gums, cavities or foul smell from the mouth, it’s imperative you visit the dentist even before the development of any pain or discomfort.

The basis for this alarm is recent medical research which shows that periodontal diseases, or oral health problems, can have consequences far reaching than simply loss of teeth. Studies have now conclusively proved that gum problems can lead to cardiovascular diseases, kidney failure, dementia and even cause pre-term birth in expecting women.

 This is reason enough for anyone ignoring oral health problems to take their condition very seriously.  Dr Simita Madan, dentist with the Axiss Dental chain of clinics, says, “Oral problems usually begin with gingivitis marked by swollen, red and bleeding gums. This is a consequence of a sticky layer of bacteria settling around the teeth and causing plaque formation. When overlooked, it leads to periodontitis where the teeth start shaking.”

“Doctors have now established that the same bacteria which causes plaque formation in the mouth leads to clogging of the heart arteries. One suspected basis for this is that the oral bacteria enters the bloodstream, sticks to circulating fats and contributes to blockage directly. Another hypothesis is that the bacteria causes inflammation of the heart muscles, again, leading  to stroke.”


    The scare, though, does not end at cardiovascular issues but extends to diabetes and renal problems as well. Diabetes has long been associated with oral troubles. Diabetics, more often than not, are victims of germ build up in the mouth. This is because high levels of sugar in the gums, which have a rich blood supply, become breeding ground for germs. 

Dr Puneet Ahuja, senior consultant, Dental Surgery, Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute, says, “Kidneys have a crucial role in filtering blood. When the bloodstream is carrying bacteria from the mouth, kidneys also get infected leading to additional issues. Low-grade infections in the blood have veritably been linked with kidney failure.” 

Expecting women need to be even more wary of oral health problems. Oral bacteria in the blood is known to promote production of growth-related hormones estrogen and adrenaline in pregnant women leading to the body releasing the foetus before time, also known as pre-term birth.

 Dr Neetu Kamra, senior consultant and dentist, BLK Super Speciality Hospital, says, “Several studies across the world on expecting women with and without periodontal diseases have proved this.

Every pregnant woman, from her very first trimester must start seeing the dentist for plaque removal and root scaling. A baby born before time will suffer from health issues all through her life if the mother doesn’t take care in time.”

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