Would you be surprised to learn that your oral health is extremely closely related to your quality of life? Certainly not! It would be an absolute nightmare to imagine a life without healthy teeth. Good oral health not only leads to a better quality of life but also excellent overall health.
But many people are not serious about their oral health and hygiene.
One research conducted by Delta Dental found that almost one-third of Americans fail to brush their teeth twice daily. Some even admitted to not brushing even once daily! Another study by Delta Dental revealed that 42 percent of Americans don’t go for dental checkups as often as they should.
It’s extremely necessary to know how oral health affects general health and the overall quality of life. This blog post discusses seven ways in which poor oral health can compromise the quality of life and worsen conditions if not treated on time.
- Wide range of health complications
Oral problems and poor oral health can cause many major illnesses including uncontrolled diabetes, lung infections, several types of cancers including mouth cancer, many types of cardiovascular diseases, kidney problems, osteoporosis, inflammation, and many more complications.
When oral bacteria enter the bloodstream it can cause atherosclerosis, which is plaque buildup around the arterial lining. It can also cause endocarditis and bacterial or fungal infections in the heart. Oral bacteria can cause several respiratory infections such as bronchitis, pneumonia, and obstructive pulmonary complications. Oral bacteria also worsen diabetes complications and affect blood pressure, thereby increasing the risks of kidney diseases. Several studies have found oral bacteria compromise the immune system and can lead to severe forms of bone loss and brittleness.
- Negative mental and psychological state
Poor oral health not only affects physical health but also affects mental health in many ways. Several studies have found a connection between oral health and brain health. Oral bacteria and plaque buildup can release harmful substances into the brain and kill brain cells. Oral diseases can also affect cognitive functions and the ability to remember. Poor oral health can cause Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Apart from the immediate impact on the brain, poor oral health can also lead to many psychological issues. For instance, it can lower confidence and cause an inferiority complex. People with certain oral complications may not feel confident to smile uninhibitedly or talk with confidence.
- Restricted social life and professional success
A recent study on oral health and social mobility, which used data from over 6500 respondents in the UK, revealed that people with good self-rated oral health are more likely to be upwardly mobile in their lives than the respondents who rated their oral health as poor. That’s not at all surprising given the fact that how our oral health affects our mental and psychological well-being, is extremely critical for professional and social success. Apart from impacting social mobility, oral problems can also create a downward spiral and affect academic and work performance. The other health problems caused by poor oral hygiene can affect productivity and increase sick leaves and time off from work and studies.
- Poor sexual health and fertility
Oral problems can cause inflammation of blood vessels and obstruct the blood flow to the genitals in men. In females, oral bacteria can cause imbalances in estrogen and progesterone. Apart from affecting sexual health, teeth and gum issues can increase the risks of pregnancy complications and premature labor. Several scientific studies have found a connection between oral problems and low birth weights as well as premature deliveries.
By compromising the immune system, oral bacteria also increases pregnancy risks and complications. Some studies have also corroborated that poor oral hygiene can cause pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy), pregnancy granuloma, pregnancy tumors, and many more pregnancy complications.
- Pain and discomfort
Poor oral health can lead to severe pain in the teeth, gums, and jawbone, constant headaches, as well as excruciating sores and blisters in the mouth. People with any of these maladies can experience a lot of pain and discomfort throughout the day and it can affect their sense of well-being.
The best way to deal with the pain is to get the underlying causes treated by an experienced dentist. Even though painkillers and sedatives can temporarily alleviate the pain and discomfort, they will do more harm than good in the long run. The temporary numbing of the pain will only exacerbate the underlying causes and raise the intensity of the pain.
- Compromised sleep quality
Various oral complications can affect sleep in several ways. Let’s take the example of tooth pain and sensitivity. When the pain gets unbearable, it can be extremely hard to get a sound sleep without painkillers or sedatives. Oral dryness is one more oral complication that can impact sleep. People suffering from dry mouth wake up many times during the night and as a result, have a poor quality of sleep. Gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis are also linked to chronic sleep loss. Poor oral health can also cause various sleep problems such as sleep apnea and insomnia.
- Lack of adequate nutrition
Poor oral health can decrease appetite as well as impair chewing, which can drastically affect food intake. People with some oral problems are more likely to avoid nutrition-dense solid foods such as vegetables such as carrots, beets, and turnips, crunchy fruits such as apples, pears, peaches, and chewy foods such as chicken, mutton, shrimps, and lobsters. They may turn to soft and liquid foods, which may not provide them with the complete nutrition essential for their body. Suboptimal nutrition can lead to many more health problems.
Taking everything into account,
After knowing how closely your teeth and gums are linked to your quality of life, you must ensure to take good care of your oral health. To lead a happy, healthy, and successful life, you must brush your teeth twice a day, floss at least once, and schedule routine dental checkups at least twice a year.
At TruCare Dentistry, we have detected many types of oral problems in our patients just in the nick of time and provided them with timely treatments. It not only saved their dental health but also enhanced their overall health and quality of life. If you’re looking for a professional and trustworthy dentist in Roswell, GA, or neighboring areas such as Alpharetta, Dunwoody, Marietta, Milton, Sandy Springs, or Woodstock, consider TruCare Dentistry. To know more about our services, visit Our Services page or call (678) 321-7575 to book an appointment today.