Healthy Living

Dental Clinic: Regular dental check-up will keep diseases away

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By Richard Kabanda

Posted  Monday, December 9  2013 at  00:00
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There are many disease conditions that are linked to oral health. That is why regular dental examinations are recommended as they can help to detect such conditions before they become life-threatening. Some of these diseases include:

Diabetes
There is a connection between gum-related diseases and diabetes. Because people with diabetes are more susceptible to infections, their risk of developing gum diseases is also high. Note that, oral infections may also intensify the severity of diabetes by increasing blood sugar levels. Research shows that gum diseases that cause bacteria also increase insulin resistance, resulting in the rise of blood glucose.

Respiratory infections
Poor oral hygiene, especially among older persons is a major risk factor for aspiration pneumonia. Micro organisms that cause pneumonia are commonly found with high concentration levels in dental plague of elderly people with gum disease.

Poor nutrition
This has a significant effect on a person’s oral health. When a person has sores in the mouth, it becomes hard for them to chew food. This results in weight loss, dehydration and illness.

Low birth weight in babies
Poor oral health in pregnancy may also have negative effect on babies. A child born with low weight has a higher risk of developing complications such as asthma, ear infections, birth abnormities, behavioural difficulties and early infant death.

Other bone-related and inflammatory conditions such osteoporosis, especially in older persons is linked to poor oral health. Osteoporosis is characterised by decreased and weakened bone density. Early signs of this condition often appear in the mouth, and can be detected through oral examination and dental x-rays.

Rheumatoid Arthritis
This is a chronic inflammatory condition and researchers have found the management of gum disease, especially when using antibiotics can help address the symptoms of rheumatoid.

The writer is a dentist
krdent@yahoo.com