Four Health Conditions That Impact Oral Health
Many people know that soda and sugar consumption increase the likelihood that a cavity will form. It's also common knowledge that not flossing and brushing regularly can lead to gum disease. But did you know there are also several health conditions that can impact your oral health?
It's no secret that pregnancy causes a variety of changes throughout the body, so it should come as no surprise that pregnant women have some unique dental issues. As hormones rise, the gums become swollen and sensitive. This increased sensitivity means the gums are also more prone to bleeding and infection, putting pregnant women at an increased risk of developing gingivitis. In fact, up to 40% of women experience pregnancy gingivitis.
To combat these problems, it's recommended that pregnant women continue to receive regular dental cleanings, and practice good oral hygiene. If any type of dental procedure is necessary, having it done during the second trimester or the first half of the third trimester decreases any risks to the baby.
Some medications required for heart disease can have an impact on oral health. High blood pressure medication may cause dry mouth, increasing the risk of developing infections and tooth decay. Calcium channel blockers, used to treat angina, can cause excessive amounts of gum tissue to grow. Your dentist may be able to control the problem through surgical removal of the extra tissue, if necessary.
Lupus wreaks havoc on the body, including the mouth. Many patients with lupus experience mouth sores, although these are usually harmless. The main concern for lupus patients is a condition called Sjogren's syndrome. Sjogren's causes the salivary gland to reduce its production of saliva, resulting in dry mouth. Sjogren's syndrome may also cause dryness in the eyes, as well. To combat Sjogren's-induced dry mouth, patients are encouraged to drink adequate amounts of water throughout the day.
Diabetes can create a few different oral health problems. Patients with diabetes are more likely to develop periodontal disease, as well as dry mouth. Thrush, a fungal infection characterized by painful white patches in the mouth, can go hand-in-hand with diabetes and dry mouth, as well. In order to minimize the risk of oral health problems, those with diabetes are encouraged to receive regular dental check-ups, practice good oral hygiene, and closely monitor and regulate blood glucose levels.
If you have any of the above conditions, check with your dentist, like those at Family First Dentistry LLC, to discuss your unique dental needs.