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Seven deadliest medical conditions related to oral health

In the modern era there have been lot of aspects associated with oral health, especially chronic and acute medical conditions. A lot of studies have been conducted regarding scariest medical conditions related to poor oral habits. The dentists can focus mainly on preventive measures in different ways. The dentists are now dealing with some of the scariest medical conditions including stroke, chronic kidney disease, lung cancer, respiratory infections, Alzheimer’s, breast cancer, oesophageal cancer.

Stroke

Stroke is an obstruction of total blood flow to the brain and may be acute. Oral bacteria may cause diseases which affect the brain.

Types and symptoms

  • Haemorrhagic stroke
  • Transient ischemic attack
  • Ischemic stroke

Symptoms of stroke

Nausea, vomiting, numbness of face, unstable mind, headache, loss of balance, paralysis on one side of the body, blurred vision, drooping face and dizziness.

Effects on oral health

The effects on oral health include inability to brush teeth, slurred speech, inability to rinse mouth, dry mouth, inability to swallow, loss of teeth and abscess formation.

If it is untreated, the adverse effects are gingivitis, dental caries and periodontal disease. If patients do not take proper care of their oral health, it leads to denture stomatitis, inflammation of the mouth and ulcers.

Chronic kidney disease

The individuals with kidney disease have other health-related issues since their immune systems are compromised, so they are more affected by various infections.

Symptoms

Vomiting, sleep disturbances, swelling of ankles and feet, feeling of itching, weakness, cramps and loss of appetite.

Effects on oral health

The oral health is affected since the kidneys are unable to remove urea from blood and the urea breaks down in order to form ammonia. The changes in the bone density also occur since calcium is not absorbed by body properly. Therefore, people with kidney problems are high-risk. Bleeding gums, halitosis (bad breath), xerostomia, sensitive teeth, salivary gland infection, inflammation of the mouth, tooth loss are the symptoms of gum disease. If it is not monitored periodically, the adverse effects lead to dental caries, abscess formation and periodontal diseases. The other symptoms affecting general health are heart disease, anaemia and eating disorder known as anorexia blood disorder.

Lung cancer

It is the growth of abnormal cells in an uncontrolled way that may happen in the lungs and lead to tumours.

Symptoms

Fatigue, loss of appetite, difficulty in breathing, recurring infections, coughing are the symptoms of lung cancer. Some other symptoms are jaundice, lumps in collarbone or neck region, swelling of the face neck and arms, pain in the bone, limbs become numb or weak. In advance stage of lung cancer, the effects spread to the body mainly affects the brain, liver and bones.

Effects of oral health

It plays an important role in affecting oral health.  Chemotherapy affects the white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets which affects the lining of gums and mouth. The radiation therapy causes stiffness. It would result in dry mouth, gum diseases like gingivitis, sore mouth and more sensitivity. The taste of the food changes.

Respiratory infections

The reservoir has potentially been considered in the oral cavity which is specifically respiratory pathogens. The mechanism of infection of the lungs such as pneumonia, dental plaque colonization by pathogens of the respiratory tract is through aspiration. Along with pathogens of the periodontal region, facilitating dental plaque colonization in the pulmonary tract is also seen.

In the elderly people, the dental plaque colonization due to pulmonary pathogens is more frequent. The reaction leads to variable inflammatory process and connective tissue destruction which is present in emphysema and periodontal disease. There is also strong relation and association between COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and periodontal disease. The acute condition such as pneumonia is a gradual onset with little or no fever with a cough.

Symptoms of acute respiratory infection

Runny nose, sore throat, fatigue, cough, loss of consciousness, dizziness and congestion.

Effects on oral health

Oral health is impaired in a great way and it leads to periodontal disease, poor oral hygiene, difficulty in swallowing, problems in feeding, poor functional status and dental caries.

Alzheimer’s

Is a mental deterioration occurring progressively in middle and old aged people due to degeneration of brain.

Symptoms

  • Difficulty in remembering things due memory loss
  • Unable to cope with challenges of life
  • Difficulty in completing a task
  • Confused state of mind  with time and place
  • Vision problems especially in identifying visual images
  • Mood and personality change
  • Poor judgement capability
  • Avoid associating in social environment

Effects on oral health

Alzheimer leads to tooth decay and gum diseases like gingivitis, gum bleeding, halitosis, periodontal diseases in old aged people. Denture wearing results in denture stomatitis, sore mouth and chronic atrophic candidiasis.

Breast cancer

Is when cells in the breast begin to grow out of control. The cells ultimately form a tumour which may turn out to be malignant and spreads to surrounding tissues and distant areas of the body and often felt as a lump.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the breast and nipple
  • A discharge from the nipple other than breast milk
  • Irritation in breast skin
  • Thickening of the nipple
  • Redness and scaliness

Effects on oral health

The effects on oral health are inflammation of mouth, difficulty in swallowing, tastelessness, dry mouth, burning sensation in the mouth and dental infections.

Esophageal cancer

The growth of abnormal cells in the food pipe in an uncontrolled manner is also known as cancer of gullet. There is a strong association between poor oral hygiene and esophageal cancer.

Symptoms

  • Weight loss
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • A persistent cough and indigestion
  • Throat pain
  • Heartburn

Effects on oral health

The association of oral hygiene with oesophageal cancer results in gum disease like gingivitis, halitosis, gum bleeding, periodontal disease, tooth erosion, sensitive teeth, dry mouth and dental caries.

Summary

The awareness of symptoms and regular check-ups by medical practitioners can bring a change in the society. If the symptoms are diagnosed in the initial stage, doctors can help the patients to cure. Otherwise, they won’t be able to help them and their life may come under risk. There are different educative programmes and campaigns to aware individuals about different scariest medical conditions.

References

  1. Gopal1Strokeand oral health, Vital 5, 40 – 42 (2008)
  1. Amir Azarpazhooh* and James L. Leake*  Systematic Review of the Association Between Respiratory Diseases and Oral Health DOI:10.1902/jop.2006.060010
  2. N A Dar,1,2,* F Islami,2,3 G A Bhat,1 I A Shah,1 M A Makhdoomi,1 B Iqbal,1 R Rafiq,1 M M Lone,4 C C Abnet,5 and P Boffetta2,6Poor oral hygiene and risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma in Kashmir Br J Cancer. 2013 Sep 3; 109(5): 1367–1372.

 

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DISCLAIMER : “Views expressed above are the author’s.”



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