The relationship between
and life expectancy
of Bacteria in Plaque May Increase
Many people may not understand how oral health may affect life expectancy. So the first step would be to recognise the mouth as a major gateway into the human body. It is the upper part of the digestive system and has a structure that prepares food for the first phase of digestion.
The mouth contains the tongue, teeth, hard and soft palate, and gum, salivary glands and the mucosa. And a dentist is specially trained to give professional care to all the parts of the mouth.
The body has various inter-connected systems of organs. This means that if there is a problem with one part of the body, it may affect other parts. A disease of any part of the mouth may be associated with some other organs in other parts of the body.
A person with gum infection may suffer from general body malaise and loss of appetite. A person with tooth ache may also suffer from severe headache and earache.
It is important to note at this point, that oral health is different from dental health. Oral health refers to the entire parts of the mouth while dental health refers only to the teeth. Several diseases affecting the general health of the body have been linked to the health of the parts of the mouth.
Vitamins are vital elements needed by all tissues of the human body for optimum health. Vitamins include A,B,C,D,E and K, deficiency of any of these may affect oral health. Deficiency of vitamin C may cause tear of the angle of the mouth, deficiency of vitamins A and B may cause the tongue to become glossy with a burning sensation. Recurrent mouth ulcer may also be due to vitamin C and B complex deficiency.
Sometimes, diseases that result in death start from the mouth and can be detected by the dentist. Mouth ulcer is one of the early manifestations of HIV/AIDS, cancer or diabetes mellitus. When a person suffers from mouth ulcers that may or may not be painful and after treatment is no better, it may be a sign of an underlying deadly disease.
A decayed tooth, if left untreated for a long time, may become infected, which may extend to the root of the tooth and then into the bone. This is called tooth-bone abscess and can be lethal if it involves the space in the lower jaw and throat and if not properly managed.
Gum disease is a condition where the gum and associated tissues are gradually being destroyed. The medical term for it is periodontitis and it requires urgent attention.
foregoing, it is clear that the mouth is part of our general body
health and people with poor oral health may suffer from poor general
body health as well. If the mouth is properly cared for, there is an
increased chance to live a good long life.
Excerpt from The Tide Online
See Dr. Nara's, 'Are My Bad Teeth Killing Me?'
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