A Fear Of Going To The Dentist Can Lead To Many Frightening Diseases

October is the month when Americans look forward to the very last day of the month. On this day children of every age (read adults) love to dress up as scary ghosts, goblins and witches among other less frightening creatures. The children go from door to door ‘trick-or-treating’ gathering up sacks full of candy.

 

15% Of The American Population Are Scared Of Going To The Dentist

Ah, you might think that Halloween is a dentist’s dream come true. Well, for some of us this is truly a nightmare. While we humans will probably never completely kick our addiction to sugar, I’ll tell you one thing that I find more frightening than Halloween. It is the fact that between 30 and 40 million people in this country, while they love to be spooked in so many other ways, will avoid going to the dentist out of fear.

 

A Spooky And Possibly Deadly Fear

Fear of going to the dentist can lead to tooth decay and periodontal disease. And here’s the most frightening fact of all.  The correlations between a multitude of other diseases and periodontal disease are getting stronger. And even though a cause-and-effect relationship has not yet been proven, research has indicated that periodontal disease increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, osteoporosis, respiratory diseases and a variety of cancers. Periodontal disease can also exacerbate existing heart conditions.

In this case, fear can be a real killer. Because, if you don’t regularly see the dentist, health problems, such as hypertension, diabetes, oral cancers, kidney failure and heart disease may not be discovered until they’re in a more advanced stage. Yes, today dentists are more likely to discover the individual’s likelihood of getting those diseases base on the bacteria in the mouth and whether or not one has periodontal disease.

 

Research Finds Links Between Gum Disease And…

 

Stroke

According to the American Academy of Periodontology, studies point to a relationship between periodontal disease and stroke. In one study that looked at the causal relationship of oral infection as a risk factor for stroke, people diagnosed with acute cerebrovascular ischemia were found more likely to have an oral infection when compared to those in the control group.

https://www.perio.org/consumer/gum-disease-and-heart-disease

 

Osteoporosis

Researchers have also suggested that there is a link between osteoporosis and bone loss in the jaw. Studies suggest that osteoporosis may lead to tooth loss because the density of the bone that supports the teeth may be decreased, which means the teeth no longer have a solid foundation. https://www.perio.org/consumer/gum-disease-and-heart-disease

 

Respiratory Disease

In addition, research has also found that bacteria that grow in the oral cavity can be aspirated into the lungs to cause respiratory diseases such as pneumonia, especially in people with periodontal disease. https://www.perio.org/consumer/gum-disease-and-heart-disease

 

Cancer

Finally, researchers found that men with gum disease were 49% more likely to develop kidney cancer, 54% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer, and 30% more likely to develop blood cancers.phttps://www.perio.org/consumer/other-systemic-diseases

 

Scared To Death

I suppose someone can be so afraid of something that it could stop their heart and kill them. I pray that for those who fear going to the dentist that they find a way to conquer that fear and along with it the risk of other diseases that are known killers. Halloween might be frightful, but not as frightening as what can happen if you don’t go to the dentist out of fear.

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