The connection between oral health and overall health has been long known by doctors and dentists alike. Certain medical conditions have a direct effect on your oral health. Here are the top five medical conditions which affect oral health.
- Acid reflux is a gastroesophageal reflux disease. It can erode your teeth because of the strong stomach acids coming up into your mouth. Your dentist may spot the symptoms during an exam. If you experience reflux, rinse your mouth out with water. Don’t brush them right away since they may still be soft from the acid. Prevent nighttime reflux by refraining from eating two to three hours before bed. Avoid food and beverages which may trigger reflux. These include acidic foods, caffeine, and alcohol.
- Stomach ulcers may appear as sores in the lining of your small intestine or stomach. They are caused by the bacterium H. pylori which weakens the lining of your stomach. Although stomach ulcers don’t cause any oral health issues, certain medications used to treat them may turn your tongue black. Although shocking, the side effect goes away once you stop treatment.
- Chronic kidney disease can make your breath smell fishy or like ammonia. As the disease progresses and the kidneys lose their ability to filter waste and toxins from the blood, your breath may smell like urine. Chronic kidney disease is a serious condition, and if left untreated can be fatal.
- Diabetes doesn’t just affect your blood sugar. It is a widespread inflammatory disease which puts you at greater risk for gum disease, cavities, and tooth loss. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, be sure and alert your dentist.
- High blood pressure affects 25 percent of the American population. One of the side effects of certain blood pressure medications is gingival enlargement. This condition makes your gums swell and grow over your teeth.
These are just some of the medical conditions which can affect your oral health. When you go in for a checkup be sure to alert your dentist about any new conditions or medications you are taking. Together you can keep your oral and overall health up to par. Contact or call us today and schedule your next checkup to go over your health history and medication list.