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What are some health problems decaying teeth can cause?

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btfulisa | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted June 10, 2010 at 5:48 AM via web

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What are some health problems decaying teeth can cause?

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kapokkid | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 10, 2010 at 6:09 AM (Answer #1)

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The most obvious problems occur in the teeth themselves as the bacteria begin to eat away at the enamel and the dentin of the tooth.  This can lead to serious problems in the tooth beyond cavities including removal of the tooth or even problems in the jaw if the cavities are not treated.  Some of the symptoms include pain in the tooth and jaw, bad odors from the rotting tooth material, and pain while chewing.

There are many things that cause decaying teeth, the heavy intake of sugars in various forms, smokeless tobacco, and other things that encourage the growth of bacteria or break down the natural defenses.

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clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 10, 2010 at 6:10 AM (Answer #2)

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Aside from the obvious issues of bad breath, pain, abscessed teeth, tooth loss and gum disease, because tooth decay is caused by bacteria - scientists have actually linked it to several other health issues.

These can include heart attack, stroke, diabetes, preterm birth and low birth weight (in pregnant women), repiratory disease, osteoporosis and digestive disorders.

Most dentists agree that tooth decay is primarily an oral problem however, it is often indicative of other problems as well.  Consider also that as the body fights the bacteria in the mouth, the entire immune system becomes more compromised.  As pain develops, the body weakens.  Because our bodies are fully functioning machines, nothing really works independently of anything else.

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dano7744 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted June 10, 2010 at 9:38 AM (Answer #3)

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Good oral hygiene is important to overall wellness. The most obvious problem bad dentition causes is an inability to chew food. Decaying teeth will also predispose you to infection and abscesses. The mouth is highly vascular, bacteria in the mouth can potentially enter the circulation and cause a bacteremia. If these bacteria are gram negative, you can develop septic shock. Septic shock is a syndrome in which exotoxins liberated from gram negative rods cause vasodilitation of the cardiovascular system, you have pooling of blood in the lower extremities,  this leads to profound hypotension and death.

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besure77 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted June 10, 2010 at 10:58 AM (Answer #4)

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Tooth decay (dental caries or dental cavities) is linked to heart disease. This is one of the reasons it is so incredibly important to properly take care of your teeth by brushing and flossing and seeing a dentist on a regular basis.

There are very dangerous bacteria that is present in plague. This plague can cause blood clots in the arteries. If these blood clots are released into the blood stream they can cause heart attacks.

Here is the basis:

  1. Plague forms in the gums
  2. The gums become very inflamed
  3. This can lead to an inflammation of the walls of the blood vessels
  4. Because of this, plague can accumulate in the arteries

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