Q. How do the health of my gums affect the rest of my body?

A. It might not be the first thing that comes to mind but how you look after your mouth has a great impact on how it affects the rest of your body.

According to multiple studies, gum disease and poor dental health do have strong links and there are certain conditions that can be made worse as a direct result of having poor dental hygiene.

Some of the conditions that can be made worse and have links to poor oral health are heart conditions, diabetes, and lung disease. The reason why gum disease is linked to causing or making so many conditions worse is because the tissues that support the teeth become infected – caused by bacteria from a build-up of plaque.

The body can then react to the bacteria and cause inflammation. When there is a lot of inflammation in the gums it has an impact on the bloodstream and can damage the blood vessels in the heart and brain over a prolonged period of time.

If you have gum disease then the bacteria you breathe in can cause chest infections or make an existing condition even worse. This happens when the bacteria trickles into your lungs and can cause pneumonia or other conditions, too.

Smoking can also make gum disease worse due to the lack of oxygen in the bloodstream, which prevents the gums from healing – besides, we all know the effect smoking has on our bodies, too. So it is really important to look after your teeth.

* For more information about dental issues, contact Synergy Dental Clinics Bolton or Bury, email bury@synergydental.org.uk or go to synergydental.org.uk/dentist-in-bury