Health Conditions That Affect Your Teeth: What You Should Know

When a person considers going to the dentist, they often assume that any issues that they may have with their teeth are unrelated to other health issues they are dealing with. However, dental care and medical care are far more closely linked than many people may believe. Dentists often have to advise patients that the health of the rest of their body holds sway over their oral health. Get to know some of the various health conditions that can affect your oral health so that you are more aware of the possibility of dental issues as well as their causes. 


While you may not think it, pregnancy can affect a woman's oral health, particularly her gums. Pregnant women are more prone to gum disease (also known as periodontal disease) than the woman was when she was not pregnant. 

The hormones that a woman carries in her body during pregnancy can actually cause the gums to swell and become inflamed, making bleeding gums and gum disease very common in pregnancy. However, even though it is a common condition, it does not mean you should ignore it.

If you notice your gums bleeding during your pregnancy and/or they feel swollen or tender, contact your dentist as soon as possible to get advice and treatments to ensure your gum disease does not cause you other health problems or issues with your pregnancy. Untreated dental and periodontal issues can be linked to low birth weights and premature labor and birth. 

Heart Disease

Periondontal disease is not only linked to issues with pregnancy, but also to cardiovascular health. Gum disease can actually be a precursor or indicator of coronary artery disease. 

Coronary artery disease is a cardiovascular condition in which plaque or fat deposits settle in a person's arteries and restrict proper blood flow through those arteries. While most people have some degree of plaque or buildup in their arteries, the more a person has in an artery and the more arteries affected, the worse the coronary artery disease and the more troublesome the cardiovascular issues. 

The plaque buildup that causes gum disease and decay may have to do with the plaque that builds up in the arteries. And the inflammation and irritation that constitute the two diseases also show links. They key factor is that if you have sore, bleeding or receding gums, you should go to the dentist as soon as possible for proper treatment and make a trip to your general practitioner to get a checkup to ensure your heart health is up to par. If you are experiencing heart issues, an angiogram or other diagnostic test may be necessary. 

Now that you know a few of the health conditions that can be linked to oral health, you know how important your dental appointments and oral health are. So, be sure you listen to those dentists and go in any time you experience oral health problems to get proper and immediate treatment.