Here’s Why You Should Take Oral Health Seriously, Especially During This Pandemic
By April 2020, about half of the world’s population was under lockdown. and curfews and quarantines had become a part of life. Governments around the world immersed themselves in figuring out strategies to fight a situation they had never encountered before and healthcare workers devoted themselves to treating those affected by the pandemic. However, even as the pandemic continues to rage, life is beginning to bear at least some semblance of normalcy. Unfortunately, the lockdown has led to the accumulation of problems that deserved immediate attention but were comfortably ignored due to the lockdown. People put non-emergency medical care completely on hold. Unfortunately, this has led to scads of patients with untreated medical conditions who now require immediate attention.
Like many other non-emergency medical conditions, people also conveniently ignored routine dental care. On March 16, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised all dentists to take up only emergency cases and suspend all routine services. Though this decision was necessary to slow down the pandemic, it led to the accumulation of many untreated patients with untreated oral health issues. Thus, at the moment, dentists around the country are busy dealing with these piled-up cases. Unfortunately, many people are still ignoring these problems, even when they know that cavities and cracked teeth can quickly give way to life-threatening diseases. Normally, people immediately notify their dentist when they experience any pain and discomfort. However, the current lockdown has left everything in a haphazard state.
Most people assume oral diseases cannot be life-threatening when in reality oral diseases can pose real dangers to life. Periodontitis, for example, is an oral condition that affects the gums and causes bleeding. Bacteria enter the bloodstream, which often leads to abscesses. Abscesses, in turn, can lead to heart-valve infections and sepsis. Periodontitis is even more harmful to diabetic patients. Thus, people suffering from chronic diabetes must make it a point to take care of their gums.
Similarly, periodontal disease is also bad for pregnant women. Pregnant women can pass bacteria to the uterus, which in turn, can lead to premature births and gestational diabetes. More importantly, almost 50% to 70% of all pregnant women suffer from pregnancy gingivitis, a condition that spikes the concentration of various hormones within the body. Unfortunately, this increased concentration increases the permeability of blood vessels, which in turn, supports the movement of bacteria to different parts of the body. Thus, pregnant women shouldn’t miss their dental appointments, even during this pandemic.
Over and above everything, oral health issues are a major cause of cardiovascular diseases and atherosclerosis, which, in turn, are responsible for almost 25% of all deaths in the United States. Inflammatory plaque chokes the blood vessels, thereby cutting the flow of oxygen within the body. This is a major cause of strokes and attacks. Some dentists believe that people with gum diseases are far more likely to suffer a heart attack or a cardiovascular disease than a person with no oral diseases. Similarly, research studies have also produced enough evidence to prove that there is a strong connection between gum disease and atherosclerotic lesions. One particular study found that bacteria caused by periodontitis enter the endothelial cells of the blood vessels and are responsible for almost 40% of all atherosclerotic lesions.
In conclusion, all people who have been ignoring their dental check-up appointment must realize that by doing so they are exposing themselves to life-threatening diseases and conditions. This pandemic is a time when one must try their best to stay healthy. Oral exams are necessary not only to protect teeth but also to protect the body from various diseases. For instance, many cases of HIV/AIDS and Bulimia are discovered during routine oral check-ups. Thus, do not delay your routine dental check-up anymore and see your dentist as soon as you can.
Contact Paul Mansky Dental today! We are located in Troy, Michigan and can be reached at (248) 689-5508 and we hope to hear from you soon!