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Medical conditions due to poor oral health

By  , Expert Content
Jan 17, 2013
4.8 / 5(4 Ratings)

According to various studies, good oral health is essential to maintain overall health in any person. So brush properly twice a day and floss properly daily, and consult your dentist for regular checkups. Some studies have indicated that chronic gum disease may lead to the development of heart diseases, a major cause of illness and death both in men and women worldwide.


Heart diseases


According to some experts, bacteria from an oral infection can enter the bloodstream and get attached to the fatty deposits in the heart blood vessels. This probably causes formation of blood clots and may lead to heart attack.


In people with heart disease, there is a special need to maintain proper oral health.


Some experts consider that there is a potential relation between oral diseases and other serious health conditions.




Diabetes can affect not only the entire body but your oral health as well. Your oral health depends on how well your blood sugar is controlled. Well controlled diabetes does not affect oral health. Some effects of diabetes on oral health are;


  • Worsening of periodontal (gum) disease: People with poorly diabetes are more likely to have severe periodontal disease.
  • Gum inflammation or gingivitis 
  • Dry mouth or xerostomia: This increase the risk of tooth decay or cavities and other oral problems.
  • Poor healing in the mouth: Diabetes impairs healing of tissues, so you may have problems with healing following oral surgery or other dental treatment.
  • Oral candidiasis (thrush) and other oral infections: As poorly controlled diabetes impairs the body's defenses against infection people with uncontrolled diabetes are more likely to have severe infections.
  • Burning mouth syndrome


Medication and Oral Health


Yes, several medications are known to have oral side effects. Even the vitamins, minerals and herbal preparations, can negatively affect the oral health. Dry mouth is the commonest side effect of medications. If you have a dental or oral health problem tell your dentist about the medications that you're taking. If you have dental problem consult your dentist and discuss your complete history including all the medications that you are taking (including any chewable vitamins, herbs and similar products).


Side-effects of medications


Excessive bleeding: Drugs such as aspirins, heparin or warfarin reduce blood clotting. These are of the used in people at risk of stroke or heart disease. But these medications can cause excessive bleeding while doing an oral surgery or treating periodontal diseases.

Altered taste: Certain medications such as cardiovascular agents, central nervous system stimulants, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, respiratory inhalants can lead to decrease in sensation of taste or bitter or metallic taste in the mouth.

Soft-tissue reactions: Some medications such as drugs prescribed for blood pressure control, immunosuppressive agents, oral contraceptives, chemotherapeutic agents can lead to oral sores, inflammation or discoloration of the soft tissues in the mouth.

Enlarged gum tissue: Enlarged gum tissue or gingival overgrowth can be caused by antiseizure medications such as phenytoin, immunosuppressant drugs which are taken after organ transplantations and calcium channel blockers is given in some heart patients.

Dry mouth: Side effects of certain medications can cause dry mouth. Some commonly used medications that can cause dry mouth are antihistamines, decongestants, pain killers, diuretics and medicines for control of high blood pressure and depression.



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