You may have heard dentists in the past say that the mouth is a gateway to the rest of the body. This is largely because the mouth can show early signs of disease that general doctors may not otherwise notice upon initial examination. However, did you know that by having certain conditions, your mouth is also at risk of infection as a result of Lyme disease?
Those with chronic Lyme disease in Lovell must understand this connection to protect both their oral and overall health for years to come.
What is Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease is an inflammatory disease typically transmitted through deer ticks. If you spend a lot of time in the woods, it is crucial that you make sure no ticks are on your body to prevent developing this potentially permanent condition. It’s characterized by a rash, headache, fever and chills. In some cases, arthritic, neurological and cardiac-related disorders can also develop as a result of bacteria transmitted by ticks. Rashes usually carry a bulls-eye pattern, so catching this early can make a big difference before flu-like symptoms begin to form.
What is the Connection?
The connection between Lyme disease and dental issues is a two-way street. While Lyme-related microbes can infest the root canal or damaged teeth, certain metals in the mouth can also contribute to the symptoms related to Lyme disease. For example, dental toxicity can influence symptoms you wouldn’t otherwise assume were caused by your oral health, including cognitive and behavioral problems. Dental work can expose infections caused by Lyme disease, which is why certain dental materials need to be taken into consideration. If you’re receiving dental crowns, braces or titanium implants, they could potentially aggravate your symptoms further if you have Lyme Disease.
Additionally, root canal treatments can worsen infections related to Lyme disease. These infection sites can increase the amount of low-grade inflammation and create risk for neurological symptoms, strokes and cardiovascular disease. If you have been taking all the necessary steps to improve your Lyme disease-related symptoms, it’s possible that an infection you were not otherwise aware of is causing it.
What Should You Do Next?
The relationship between general wellness and oral health is a complicated one, which is why it’s so important to schedule regular appointments to both your general practitioner and a dentist in Lovell. Always pay close attention to your Lyme disease symptoms in order to confirm that your current treatment plan is working. Do not rule out the possibility that your current dental work or recent treatment is affecting your body’s ability to properly fight off infections. When brushing, make sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush to prevent accidentally wearing down restorations which can release toxic material into your body. Consider replacing all silver fillings with safer materials.
Got more questions about the mouth-body connection between oral health and Lyme disease? Schedule an appointment with a dentist today!
About the Author
Dr. Lance Anderson earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the University of Louisville. He’s always paying close attention to the connection between oral and overall health in order to provide the most effective and appropriate treatment plan possible. To learn more about his practice, you can contact him through his website.