Effects Of Poor Oral Health; The last decade has seen a ballooning awareness in the possible links between oral health and body health. Earlier a doctor who diagnosed a patient with a heart problem would not refer him to an oral health specialist. This was the same with diabetes, pregnancy or digestive complications. Lately, physicians have a holistic method of assessing their patients’ overall health.
Our mouth is a host to more than 20 million bacteria that reproduce every 5 hours. Many bacteria are harmless as they protect our teeth and assists in the process of digestion. Whereas some are very harmful causing damage to oral health and eventually affecting other parts of the body. Researchers have identified several health issues which can develop due to the result of poor oral health.
Effects Of Poor Oral Health: Here’s How Poor Oral Health Affects Digestion
Teeth are the accessory organ of our digestive system. Each tooth has a role to play in breaking down food. The incisors cut, the premolars and molars crush and reduce them to digestible sizes. If any part of the dental structure is damaged in any way, the process of chewing will be affected significantly. It will be difficult to break down food and your body will not be able to extract nutrients from larger chunks of food which will end up taking a lot of energy to digest and more extra calories would be stored as fats.
Replete breeding of bacteria leads to inflammation of gums. Up to 40% of the bacteria in the entire body comes from the mouth. The bacteria that collects in the mouth because of periodontal disease is the reason behind ulcers which is found as bacterial infections in the stomach linings. If the bacterial count in the mouth is high, then these bacteria travel to the stomach which causes reinfection and relapses the ulcers.
People with fewer natural teeth tend to consume softer foods which have higher sugar content and low on fibre and nutrients. Diets low in fiber can cause constipation and intestinal disorders. Foods which are not appropriately chewed lead to problems with gas and abdominal enlargement. This aggravates gastrointestinal disorders and indigestion and problems like IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). It also takes away the chance of eating foods that strengthens the remaining teeth like crunchy fruits and vegetables such as apples, celery and leads to the risk of additional tooth loss and more digestive complications.
Saliva also plays a major role in the process of digestion. Saliva has enzymes which break down food especially carbohydrates which makes it easier to digest. People who suffer from chronic dry mouth do not produce saliva to ingest nutrients properly. Insufficient production of saliva leads to malnutrition because body is unable to recover nutrients from the food. Preventive dental care like brushing, flossing and routine dental check-ups can avoid such problems.
General dentistry ensures early and precise identification of any oral health complication which can ultimately affect your overall health. The effects of poor oral health cannot be overemphasized. If you experience toothaches, misalignment, infection or missing tooth it is advisable to go visit your dentist at the earliest as it can interfere with your chewing and digestion.