How Your Oral Health Impacts Your Liver

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We all know that your oral health is important and proper dental care is imperative to prevent you from obtaining any diseases that can negatively affect your mouth. In awareness of this, we all make sure to regularly brush and floss to keep cavities, gum disease and any other infections from forming in and around your mouth.

But did you know that your oral health impacts your liver and other parts of your body as well? Recently, there have been discoveries linking poor dental hygiene to liver cancer and other liver diseases. 

How Is Oral Health Connected to Your Liver? 

When your body starts to develop liver disease or failure, scar tissue begins to build on your liver. This occurrence is known as cirrhosis and is becoming a larger issue taking place in the United States. If the scar tissue continues to grow and progress, it can ultimately result in the failure of your liver. This can travel up to your brain and negatively impact your cognitive functions as it worsens. 

As people become infected with this approaching liver failure, they often see changes in their salivary microbiota. This is known as a specific type of bacteria located inside of the gastrointestinal tract as well as inside of your mouth. This means that people infected with liver disease or failure have a greater chance of gaining gum disease as well. 

How Does Proper Oral Care Affect This? 

By utilizing consistent oral care on your teeth and gums, you can reduce any toxins or inflammation that may grow in your bloodstream. This can result in your cognitive function improving as well as extending your amount of life with liver problems. 

In a recently conducted study, researchers found that patients who already had liver disease had a greater chance of death if they didn’t take proper care of their teeth and mouth. This is because they failed to continue to prevent bacteria from building in their mouth and inflammation growing as well. This, unfortunately, resulted in gaining gum disease that decreased the lives of most liver diseased patients. 

How Can This Be Prevented? 

If you’ve already been infected with liver cancer, there is a way to prevent further oral infection that can result in negative and possibly fatal impacts. Fortunately, there are also ways for you to go about preventing this from occurring and potentially damaging your mouth and body further. 

Be sure to brush your teeth twice a day and floss twice a day as recommended to keep bacteria from forming inside of your gums. Gingivitis (gum disease) occurs when food particles are built up inside of your teeth and gums without any proper removal.

This bacteria and plaque can only be removed on a regular basis by constant everyday care of brushing and flossing. Use toothpaste with fluoride as well to make extra sure you’re caring for your teeth and removing any bacteria or plaque. 

Can Oral Hygiene Impact Other Parts Of My Health? 

Not only can severe gum disease result in the loss of several or all of your teeth, but it can also provide negative effects throughout other sections of your body:

Diabetes: One of the most common connections between bodily disease and oral health is diabetes. As inflammation begins to form inside of your mouth, this makes your body decrease its ability to control its blood sugar levels. This ultimately results in diabetes because people diagnosed with diabetes are no longer able to process their sugar due to a lack of insulin. The bacteria from the gum disease is inflamed and keeping your body from allowing this insulin inside of it.
Heart Disease: Heart disease is another impact your body can face due to a lack of oral care. According to WebMD, 91% of patients with heart disease are also suffering from severe gum disease. Most researchers aren’t completely sure why this is, but they do spot a lot of common similarities between the risk factors associated with both these diseases like an increase in weight, smoking, or unhealthy eating habits.

Many believe that the inflammation caused by gum disease leads to your blood vessels becoming inflamed as well. It makes the risk for heart attack become greater since your blood has a difficult time moving through your body, ultimately resulting in your blood pressure rising. Researchers also concluded that there’s a large chance plaque can break off of your blood vessel’s wall, then move up to the brain or heart, ultimately causing a stroke or heart attack.

Utilizing Proper Dental Care 

While this all may seem intimidating and frightening to read, there are ways to reduce your risks of all the issues mentioned above. Keeping up with oral care recommended by dentists is one of the best ways to keep yourself from gaining gum disease. If you’ve already been diagnosed with liver problems or failure, visit one of our locations in Powell, Springfield, and Hilliard, Ohio. We can help you learn more about what types of necessary care are needed to keep gum disease from spreading in your mouth, so your body doesn’t continue getting an infection and start to ultimately suffer or shut down. 

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About the Author
Dr. James Blank, D.D.S.

Dr. James Blank, D.D.S., is a leading figure in modern dentistry, renowned for his commitment to excellence and patient care at Blank Dental. Educated at The Ohio State University and further trained at the Medical College of Ohio, Dr. Blank has specialized in dental implantology, cosmetic dentistry, and sleep medicine. His dedication to lifelong learning has made him a sought-after lecturer for prestigious groups like the American Academy of Restorative Dentistry and the American Dental Association.

Dr. Blank’s professional memberships span the American Academy of Implant Dentistry to the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, highlighting his active role in advancing dental practices. At home, his family fuels his passion, with the support of his wife and children being central to his achievements.