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You already know that daily brushing and flossing, plus regular dental visits with ReHoBoth Health Network and Family Dentistry, who serve Schertz, New Braunfels, Seguin, and Converse, Texas and the San Antonio metro area, helps keep your teeth strong, your gums healthy, and your smile beautiful.
However, you may not know about the other inherent health benefits of dental checkups and cleanings. Maintaining healthy gums minimizes your risk for a number of serious health conditions. Routine dental care can also help you treat ongoing problems like sleep apnea.
People with periodontal disease, or gum disease, are twice as likely to develop cardiovascular disease compared with people with healthy gums. Some experts suggest that gum disease may be a more significant risk factor for coronary artery disease than cholesterol.
The bacteria that cause periodontal disease seep into your bloodstream through damaged gums. As the bacteria ride through your circulatory system, they can trigger inflammation that affects your heart and blood vessels.
Bacteria from a dental infection may also attach to blood vessel walls, where they contribute to fatty plaque buildup. Periodontal disease can even worsen an existing heart condition and raise your risk of stroke.
While the association between gum disease and heart disease receives a lot of attention, it's not the only concern. Any infection in your mouth can lead to problems throughout your body. A cavity that penetrates to the center of your tooth opens a door for bacteria to enter your bloodstream and cause inflammation.
Dental conditions such as tooth decay, gum disease, dry mouth, and infection are common complications of diabetes. If you have diabetes, you're more likely to develop gum disease because high blood sugar invites bacterial growth, leading to the dental plaque that causes gum disease.
Gingivitis and periodontitis tend to be more severe in people with diabetes. And for those diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, gum disease raises your risk of diabetes-related complications such as heart attack and eye or kidney damage.
The presence of gum disease raises your blood sugar — even if you don't already have diabetes. As a result, periodontitis increases your odds of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Treatment for gum disease, especially if you have severe periodontitis, can lead to a drop in blood sugar and help you manage your diabetes.
Did you know that the signs of many health conditions develop in your mouth before you experience other symptoms? Our dentists are trained to recognize oral issues that raise red flags for other systemic problems.
Every time we perform a dental exam, we can protect your health by identifying signs and recommend you see your primary care physician. Some of the health conditions that show up in the mouth include:
During pregnancy, hormonal changes make women more susceptible to bacteria that cause plaque, so the risk for gingivitis increases. Aptly called pregnancy gingivitis, it typically develops between the second and eighth months of pregnancy and causes red, swollen gums that bleed easily.
We recommend that women schedule more frequent cleanings and checkups during the second trimester to lower chances of gingivitis.
It's important to know that gum disease may affect the health of your pregnancy and your baby if bacteria gets into your bloodstream. Some studies suggest that these bacteria may lead to preterm labor or can increase the chance of a low birth weight baby.
Did you know that your dental health has a direct impact on your lungs? When you have untreated periodontal disease, bacteria you inhale can travel to your respiratory tract. These bacteria worsen existing respiratory disease and add to the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchitis, and pneumonia.
You may not think there’s a connection between dental care and getting a good night’s sleep, but a custom-fitted mouthpiece is one of the most effective treatments for mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
OSA occurs while you sleep. You temporarily stop breathing because muscles relax enough to allow your tongue and other soft tissues to fall back and block airflow.
A properly fitted mouthpiece keeps your lower jaw and tongue from closing up your throat. During subsequent regular visits, we can check and adjust the fit of the mouthpiece to ensure effectiveness.
With more than 100 oral appliances available for sleep apnea, you can count on our skills and experience at ReHoboth Health Network and Family Dentistry to match the best treatment to your individual health needs.
Make twice-yearly dental care at ReHoboth Health Network and Family Dentistry, serving Schertz, New Braunfels, Seguin, and Converse, Texas and the San Antonio metro area, one of your New Year’s resolutions. It’s the best way to protect your dental and physical health.
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