Wednesday, May 31, 2023

These are the diseases that can cause cavities outside the mouth

Conversation 20/05/2023 at 08:00.

Getty Images Regular visits to the dentist can have a positive effect on the general state of health

  • Cavities, if not removed properly, can have negative effects on other parts of the body

  • There is a possibility that bacterial infection of the oral tissues may lead to type 2 diabetes.

  • Certain cardiovascular or respiratory diseases have also been linked to periodontal problems.

  • According to the World Health Organization, the most frequent diseases of the oral cavity are dental caries and periodontal disease. When the main agents that cause these diseases are not eliminated, they can have negative effects on other organs of the body.

    Different groups of bacteria participate in the development of caries and periodontal disease. According to scientific studies, more than 600 different species have been found in the oral cavity.

    Tuberculosis, high blood pressure and heart infection

    In case of dental caries, the bacteria present in the teeth use the remains of food as fuel and make acid. These affect the hardest layer of the tooth and over time small cavities form on its surface.

    Through these cavities, bacteria can reach the innermost part of the tooth, where the nerves and blood vessels are located.

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    Once in the arteries, the microbes can cause low-level infections, as they form plaques that accumulate inside the blood vessels, for example participating in atherosclerosis.

    Furthermore, some researchers have described that these bacteria also activate the system responsible for regulating blood pressure, leading to primary hypertension. The bacterium known as Streptococcus mutans, which is involved in dental caries, has also been described as one of the main pathogens causing infection in the heart tissue (infective endocarditis).

    Swollen gums can cause diabetes

    Gingivitis is caused by an infection of the bacteria present in dental plaque, although other habits such as smoking are also involved.

    When there is poor oral hygiene and dental plaque is not removed through a good brushing technique, the bacteria present increase in number and allow other, more harmful types of microbes to take over. These cause destruction of the tissues that support the tooth and can eventually reach the bloodstream. There they release toxins and are capable of developing non-verbal diseases.

    For example, it is thought that bacterial infection of the oral tissues may disrupt normal blood sugar levels. So much so that some experiments in people with type 2 diabetes have shown that these levels return to normal after a dental cleaning.

    Other systemic diseases that have been associated with periodontal disease are heart disease, respiratory tract infections, and pneumonia.

    As if this were not enough, it is suspected that there is a link between oral bacteria and Alzheimer’s disease. However, although it has been proposed that an oral infection may promote the arrival of these pathogens in the brain, the role of these microorganisms in the development of this neurodegenerative disease remains unclear.

    In any case, regular visits to the dentist to treat early oral diseases and receive information about oral care can have a positive impact on overall health.

    Article written by Juliet Sarai Becerra Ruiz (Professor and Researcher in Biosciences, University of Guadalajara) and Juan Manuel Guzmán Flores (Researcher on molecular and cellular processes of chronic-degenerative diseases, University of Guadalajara).

    World Nation News Desk
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