The overall health of your body can significantly impact your oral health. Here are a few health issues that can be detrimental to your teeth and gums.
People with eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia, are also at increased risk of oral health issues. The disorders reduce the amount of nutrients available to keep the teeth properly mineralized and the gums healthy.
In addition, people with bulimia may vomit to purge after consuming a meal. The stomach acids in the vomit eat away at the tooth enamel in the same manner as bacterial acids. However, the gastric acids tend to be stronger. As a result, the teeth of a person with bulimia may quickly decay.
Sjorgren's syndrome is an autoimmune disease that causes the mouth and eyes to be dry. Dry mouth, which results from a reduction in the salivary flow, can increase the likelihood of tooth decay and gum disease.
The saliva of the mouth has a pH that is close to neutral. Thus, the clear liquid helps to dilute bacterial acids, limiting their damaging effects on the teeth and gums. When there is too little saliva in the mouth, the oral acids remain more concentrated.
If you have diabetes, your body's blood sugar levels may be elevated at times. The elevation is caused by the body's inability to properly regulate the storage and usage of sugars with the hormone insulin.
People with type 1 or type 2 diabetes can have an increased risk of decay and gum disease because of the potential for blood sugar elevation. The increase in blood sugar can help make sugars in the mouth more available to oral bacteria who metabolize them and release acidic waste. The acids from the microbes dissolve the tooth enamel and inflame the gingival tissues, leading to decay and gum disease.
Diabetics also have an increased risk of dry mouth. Thus, there may be too little saliva to help dilute or neutralize bacterial acids, further increasing the risk of decay.
Additionally, the gingival health problems associated with type 2 diabetes can facilitate an unhealthy cycle for people with the disease. Diabetics are more likely to suffer from gum disease, and people with periodontal disease are more likely to become diabetic.
Many health conditions and their symptoms can be treated with medication to limit their negative effects on your oral health. However, if you suffer from a systemic condition, it is still important to remain under a dentist's care. To schedule a dental appointment, contact the office of a family dentist in your local area.