Many people don't realize that there is a direct link between oral health and overall health.  The simple fact is that problems with oral health can lead to problems throughout the body.  In this article, we will look at how plaque and gingivitis can actually cause health issues and problems that extend beyond the mouth.  Poor oral hygiene can lead to serious medical issues.

Gingivitis and Plaque Can Lead to Disease
Gingivitis is a disease of the gums that causes swelling in the gums.  If you have had swollen or discolored gums, you may be suffering from gingivitis.  In addition, if you have bleeding gums in any fashion, such as after brushing your teeth, you may also have a gingivitis issue.

Plaque forms in between teeth in the gaps.  Dental plaque can lead to other problems like cavities and gingivitis.  The fact is that there is a potential link between plaque, gingivitis and cavities.  Plaque is not a serious problem if it is addressed via proper brushing within about a two-day time frame.  However, after several days, plaque can harden into tartar and become far more difficult to remove.

Oral Health, Gingivitis, Bacteria and Your Immune System
The dangers of gingivitis are quite serious in that gingivitis can lead to tooth loss, and this underscores just how damaging the impact can be on overall health.  Severe problems in oral health produce bacteria and potentially a large amount of bacteria.  This bacteria can enter the bloodstream, and the results can be profound.  Some studies indicate that gum disease could harm the heart and, in fact, increase the risk of heart attack and other problems.

Researchers recently found that tooth decay can lead to diabetes.  As it turns out, more than 70% of people with diabetes also have serious dental issues.  Those with periodontal disease end up unable to control blood sugar levels.

Having any oral health problems can stress the immune system as well.  The bacteria in the mouth must be addressed both in the mouth and as it travels throughout the body.  This means that oral health problems, such as gingivitis, could mean a weaker overall immune system.

Tooth Loss and Its Implications
The potential for tooth loss as a result of severe gingivitis is something that should not be ignored.  Tooth loss isn't just expensive, but is also painful.  Further, tooth loss could mean having to opt for dentures or even dental implants.  The dental implant process is both amazing and painful as titanium rods are attached to the jawbone.  Over a period of months, the gum tissue builds up over the titanium rods and then a replacement tooth can be installed.  This process is time consuming and obviously painful.

A Smart Diet and Supplements to the Rescue
There is a clear link between oral health and overall health.  Keeping your teeth and gums healthy is a way to increase your overall health and decrease your number of medical problems.  Following a healthy diet, avoiding smoking, and taking vitamin and mineral supplements, such as calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K and magnesium, are all important ways that you can keep your teeth healthy.