“Death” from a Dirty mouth

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“Death” from a Dirty mouth

The usual conversation with a patient at the dental clinic is quite intriguing, interesting and funny. The patient asks numerous questions and the doctor responds and counsels the patient on the need for a particular dental procedure. Most times the questions center around oral hygiene and the need to have dental cleaning carried out regularly. Research Studies have shown an increased risk of death from lack of proper oral hygiene especially among the elderly. Sounds inconceivable? Can you really die from a dirty mouth?? Did you know that your poor health-seeking behavior could cause complications in your body?? I have listed below some common medical issues and complications that are often caused by the continuous accumulation of dental plaque and calculus in the mouth

  • Periodontal Disease– Bone deterioration around the teeth leads to loosening and eventual tooth loss.
  • Halitosis – Lack of regular brushing and flossing leaves small food particles wedged between the teeth that collect bacteria and emit chemicals, like hydrogen sulfide-the same compound that gives rotten eggs their characteristic smell.
  • Respiratory Problems– Bacteria from periodontal disease can travel through the bloodstream to the lungs where it can aggravate the respiratory system – especially in patients who already have respiratory problems.
  • Atherosclerosis– High levels of disease-causing bacteria in the mouth can lead to clogging of the Carotid Artery and increased risk of stroke.
  • Heart Disease– People with periodontal disease are 2 xs likely to develop heart disease and arterial narrowing as a result of periodontal bacteria and plaque entering the bloodstream through the gums.  In fact, one study found that the presence of gum disease, cavities, and missing teeth are as good at predicting heart disease as cholesterol level indicators.
  • Diabetes – 95% of adults with diabetes also have periodontal disease, and 1/3 have advanced periodontal disease that has led to tooth loss.

The dental care for the elderly in Nigeria is quite appalling and most family members don’t realize that lack of dental care increases the risk of many diseases. We all know that most of our aged parents are bedridden and most can’t brush effectively or brush for themselves. Aspiration pneumonia it’s not uncommon for small amounts of bacteria to become inhaled into the airways of the lungs.  Of course, a healthy person can rely upon the body’s immune system or other defense mechanisms to clear their lungs. It’s when these defense reactions, like coughing, become compromised that pneumonia can develop very quickly.

Some recently published research shows a strong correlation between people who suffer from gum disease and a 60% increase in the risk of developing the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Other studies have also shown that poor dental hygiene and dementia are closely related

Why don’t you prevent “DEATH” to use the word literarily as meaning complication brought about by not being proactive with your oral hygiene? Visit the dentist twice a year for routine dental checkup and cleaning and also remember the elderly also matter in the scheme of dental care.

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Dr. Ogundeji is an enthusiastic and passionate dentist with interest managing challenging oral health issues. He is a dental health blogger (Drogundeji.com) and creative writer to dental blogs around the world, an entrepreneur and business development strategist. He lives in Lagos Nigeria and married with children. he currently works with Platinum Dental Surgery

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