Although you probably understand that poor dental care can lead to cavities, did you know that other, more serious health problems can also result from poor oral care? The truth is that if you don't take proper care of your teeth, you could face far more serious consequences than a simple toothache or some unsightly stains.
In a nutshell, this means heart disease. The bacteria from inflammation of the gums and periodontal disease can enter your bloodstream and travel to the arteries in the heart and cause atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
Atherosclerosis causes plaque to develop on the inner walls of arteries which thicken and this decreases or may block blood flow through the body. This can cause an increased risk of heart attack or stroke. The inner lining of the heart can also become infected and inflamed a condition known as endocarditis.
The bacteria from gingivitis may enter the brain through either nerve channels in the head or through the bloodstream, that might even lead to the development of Alzheimer's disease.
The Journal of Periodontology warns that gum disease could cause you to get infections in your lungs, including pneumonia. While the connection might not be completely obvious at first, think of what might happen from breathing in bacteria from infected teeth and gums over a long period of time.
Inflammation of the gum tissue and periodontal disease can make it harder to control your blood sugar and make your diabetes symptoms worse. Diabetes sufferers are also more susceptible to periodontal disease, making proper dental care even more important for those with this disease.