There’s more evidence of the health problems that stem from poor oral health.
A new study by researchers at the Swedish college Uppsala University found that tooth loss and gum disease raise the risk of heart disease and diabetes. The research team determined that missing teeth increased the enzyme levels of a specific enzyme. It was also discovered that this enzyme raised the risk of inflammation and hardening in the arteries.
The risk increased for every missing tooth. There were even new risk factors added, including high blood pressure, bad cholesterol and the circumference of the waist. The people with fewer teeth were also at an increased risk of suffering from diabetes. Each missing tooth made the person 11 percent more likely to develop diabetes.
"While more study is needed, research indicates that oral health could play a role in improving overall health and, hopefully, in lowering total health costs," says Marilynn Belek, DMD, chief dental officer and executive vice president for Delta Dental. "Research like this is a good reminder that a healthy lifestyle, including a strong oral health component, supports better overall wellness."
The best way to avoid any possible health effects from poor oral health is to visit the dentist on a regular basis.