Rotten or “bad” teeth need to be fixed.
This is far more than an issue of learning to love your imperfections. Bad teeth can harm the body.
“Decayed or badly broken-down teeth affect not only your oral health but also your systemic health,” says Marco L. Tironi, DDS, who practices dentistry in Rochester, MI.
“This can manifest in the form of everything from localized pain or periodontal infections — to life-threatening infections which affect one’s ability to breathe,” explains Dr. Tironi.
“Depending on the condition of the teeth, their location and the amount of time they’ve been ‘breaking down’ will generally dictate the severity of the problem and the treatment rendered.
“Furthermore, longstanding periodontal or dental infections have been shown to have adverse effects on one’s health in the form of chronic conditions including heart disease, pulmonary disease, diabetes and pregnancy complications.”
The association between tooth decay and oral infections with heart disease simply cannot be ignored. Study after study shows the correlation.
You Should NOT Accept Your “Ugly” Teeth
A mouth of rotten teeth will certainly yield oral infections, which is a risk factor for heart disease.
The media focuses on smoking, obesity and diabetes as the big risk factors, and little attention is given to rotting teeth or poor oral hygiene.
But it’s true: Getting your so-called rotten teeth fixed goes far beyond the cosmetic issue.
A study by Van Dyke et al, appearing in Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism (April 16, 2015), points out that cavities and periodontal disease destroy the supporting structures of teeth.
In addition, strong epidemiological studies show a clear association between these conditions and stroke – especially stroke in younger adults.
Major tooth decay isn’t just a problem in developing countries. Plenty of Americans suffer from this.
The Journal of Dental Research in 2013 published a paper that not only points out a link between severe tooth loss and moderate heart failure, but that decayed teeth (depending on extent) can interfere with eating and proper sleeping.
A person with a lot of rotten teeth that don’t work efficiently may be discouraged from eating healthy foods that are crunchy such as many kinds of vegetables and fruits (e.g., celery, crucifers, Romaine lettuce, carrots, beets, apples) plus nuts.
And of course, disrupted sleep can have many negative consequences and is strongly linked to impairment of glucose metabolism, excess weight and heart disease.
The Effect of Bad Teeth on the Mind
Bad teeth can discourage a person from social interaction, smiling and even impact self-esteem.
Taking the “body positive” approach to this will not fix the problem because, as already described, rotten teeth can affect the physical body.
Do not allow yourself to be influenced to accept a resolvable physical condition that’s potentially harmful.
It’s one thing to have an “imperfection” that can’t be remedied, such as a skin disorder, but decayed teeth CAN and should be treated and corrected by a dentist.
A member of the Academy of General Dentistry, Dr. Tironi is trained in sedation dentistry, dental implantology, orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.