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Some people avoid the dentist because they fear pain or cannot afford to go. However, poor oral health can lead to more than cavities and gum disease. It may cause a number of adverse health conditions. There are many reasons beyond clean and healthy teeth to visit a dentist regularly.

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Increased Risk of Diabetes

Oral care and blood sugar levels share a strange relationship. Studies indicate that people with missing teeth are at higher risk of developing diabetes. Having fewer teeth may cause inflammation in the bloodstream, which can disrupt blood sugar levels. Conversely, individuals with diabetes are at higher risk of having gum disease and cavities.

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Low Birth Weight

Poor oral health can be dangerous for pregnant women and may lead to the passage of serious conditions to the newborn. Studies suggest a link between poor dental condition and premature births and low birth weight babies. These babies may be at risk of infections, formative abnormalities, developmental challenges, and even infant death.

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Respiratory Problems

Certain respiratory problems may be related to gum disease. The bacteria responsible for plaque formation can travel from the mouth to the lungs via the respiratory tract and aggravate existing breathing problems or incite new ones. The elderly and people with compromised immunity could be at higher risk of such gum disease-related respiratory complications.

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Higher Possibility of Dementia

Though there is no firm relationship between gum disease and dementia, studies show that the brains of people with dementia are more likely to contain a bacterium associated with oral problems. Dementia causes memory loss and confusion, among other conditions, and can impede routine functioning to a significant extent.

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Weakened Bones

Research indicates that people with missing teeth and weakened periodontal bone, which supports the teeth, may be at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis. Research also suggests a link between a weakened skeletal structure and periodontal deficiencies.

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Possibility of Heart Disease

Studies have shown a connection between poor dental health and a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Even though researchers have not established the exact association between the two, poor oral health may adversely affect vital organs such as the heart, possibly by triggering inflammation.

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Obesity

There may be a link between missing teeth and obesity, perhaps because people who have lost teeth cannot chew food properly. People with poor oral health or missing teeth may avoid lower-calorie foods like fresh fruits and vegetables because they're harder to chew and bite. Instead, high-fat foods that are easier to chew may become the preferred food choice.

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Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.