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Predicting Heart Disease and Diabetes With Your Teeth

TeamGeneral Dentistry

Your dental health is just one part of your overall health, and your teeth are impacted by the rest of your body. If you have a chronic condition or an illness, then it will affect your dental health as well. In some cases, this can be a major benefit since you can use the changes in your dental health to better understand your overall health. This is especially true of heart disease. Here is how your teeth can predict heart disease and diabetes. 

Plaque is the Key

If your doctor suspects that you may have heart disease, then schedule a trip to your dentist as soon as possible. Your dentist may be able to confirm a diagnosis of heart disease, as well as help you treat it. Heart disease is a condition where plaque builds up in your arteries, making them less flexible and wearing them out faster. Having some plaque is a good thing since it strengthens your heart, but too much plaque is a problem.

Your dentist regularly fights plaque buildup caused by bacteria growing in your mouth. If you have a lot of plaque buildup in your mouth, this may be a sign that there is plaque growing out of control everywhere else. Your dentist can help remove the plaque on your teeth and sanitize your mouth to prevent bacteria growth. Once the bacteria is under control, the plaque can naturally filter out of your arteries without quickly being replaced. This should lower your risk of heart disease.

Bacteria Worsens Diabetes

Bacteria can be the cause of many chronic conditions throughout your body. It also contributes to the onset of diabetes. Diabetes is a disease where your body struggles to produce insulin, the hormone that takes sugar in your blood into your cells so that they can use it for energy. Without insulin, your body can’t use the energy that it has stored up. Having too much blood sugar leads to health problems including diabetes. 

The bacteria in your mouth can contribute to diabetes. Bacteria often produce sugar as a product of its natural bodily functions. Because of this, having too much bacteria in your body will raise your blood sugar and accelerate of diabetes-related health problems. While you cannot cure diabetes by getting rid of the bacteria, you can lessen its effect by reducing the amount of bacteria in your body. This is where your dentist comes in. 

If your dentist finds that you have a condition like, gum disease (a bacterial infection of the gums) or too much plaque (a sign of too much bacteria), he or she can try to sanitize your teeth and gums to kill the bacteria. Regular trips to the dentist can help you find out if you are at risk for a chronic condition like diabetes, and help you fight it.

Ready for Help?

Dealing with diabetes or heart disease requires a full-body approach including help from your dentist. Give our office a call at (212) 982-5883 or contact us online to schedule an appointment. We can help you improve your dental health and fight chronic diseases in the process.