Dental Neglect’s Wide-Ranging Consequences

dentist in Gilbert, AZ

It’s clear to most, especially your dentist in Gilbert, AZ, that neglecting one’s oral health can lead to a life filled with pain, tooth decay, and gum disease. These are all very serious conditions that can cause varying degrees of discomfort and illness. However, if that warning isn’t enough, some additional diseases linked to poor oral hygiene include Pancreatic Cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart disease.

Pancreatic Cancer

A significant link between pancreatic cancer and gum disease, specifically Periodontitis, was reported in a study from Harvard School of Public Health. This extensive study involving 51,000 men dating back to the late 80s indicated that men with this form of gum disease were 64% more likely to be diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer.

Alzheimer’s Disease

Another study out of New York University in 2010 has linked gum inflammation and Alzheimer’s disease. One hundred and fifty two subjects in a Glostrop Aging Study over 20 years were evaluated. This study lead to the findings of an association between gum disease in 70-year-olds and poor cognitive function. This connection was so pronounced that those in the study were nine times more likely to score lower on the cognitive test if they had gum inflammation. A possible significant contributing factor in this link being that 2/3 of bacteria responsible for gum disease are able to travel into the brain through blood circulation and nerves.

Heart Disease

Finally, one of the most clear links among the three is that of dental hygiene and heart disease. People with gums that bleed provide a pathway for bacteria to enter the bloodstream, attach to platelets, which forms blood clots. This clog can result in heart attacks.

Your dentist in Gilbert, AZ, Dr. Norton, can help you practice excellent oral hygiene and help prevent more serious diseases like those listed above. Contact us for more information.

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (4/19/2015) Simon Fraser University – University Communications (Flickr)