How Anemia Can Have an Impact on Oral Health

Posted by ARIZONA DENTAL HEIGHTS May 09,2023

Anemia is a condition where the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells or hemoglobin to carry oxygen throughout the body. This leads to mild-to-severe symptoms depending on the severity and type of anemia. The mouth is part of the body that requires oxygen to function properly. Without that, the risk of oral health problems increases substantially.

The most common cause of anemia is iron deficiency. This usually results from a poor diet that doesn’t have enough iron-rich foods in it. Poor nutrition leads to poor overall wellness, including reduced mental and emotional health, as well as fatigue due to the increased effort required for regular tasks.

There are also different types of anemia caused by various health conditions such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, kidney disease, and many others. Patients with severe forms of anemia may have trouble performing even the most basic of daily tasks due to their lack of energy.

In severe cases of anemia, patients may require blood transfusions to replace the missing blood and iron. Otherwise, dentistry treatments such as dental crowns and dental implants may not be advisable as a patient may not be able to tolerate them. Always speak to your dentist about the best treatment options for your unique case. 

How Does Anemia Affect Oral Health?

Anemia is a condition where the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells (RBCs) or hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the protein in RBCs that carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. When there is not enough hemoglobin in the body, the cells don’t get the oxygen they need and can’t function correctly. There are several different types of anemia, including iron-deficiency anemia, vitamin deficiency anemia, pernicious anemia, hereditary anemia, and blood loss anemia.

The symptoms of anemia include weakness and fatigue, headaches, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, pale skin, dizziness, cold hands and feet, irregular heartbeat, and chest pain. The effects of anemia on the body can be severe and include poor appetite, weight loss, brittle nails, sore tongue, swollen tongue, muscle cramps, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and memory loss. Some types of anemia may cause more serious health complications, such as heart failure, kidney problems, heart attack, enlarged spleen, and liver disorders.

In addition to causing symptoms related to your body not receiving the proper amount of oxygen, anemia can also have a negative impact on your oral health. You may experience bleeding gums, mouth sores, dry mouth, bad breath, tooth discoloration, delayed healing after oral surgery, cavities, and gum disease. Because people with anemia do not produce as much saliva, they may be more susceptible to developing an oral yeast infection called thrush. If left untreated, this infection can cause inflammation in the mouth and throat, redness, pain, swelling, fever, headache, nausea, and vomiting.

What Are the Treatment Options for Anemia?

There are a number of at-home treatments that you can try first, such as eating a better diet or increasing your iron intake through supplements. However, since iron deficiency is sometimes caused by an underlying health condition like celiac disease, it is important to speak with your doctor to identify the root cause of the condition and determine the best treatment option for your individual case. In some cases, your doctor may recommend other medical treatments to treat the underlying issue, and in other cases, they may recommend a number of lifestyle changes that can help treat the condition and improve your overall health.

One common treatment approach is to take iron supplements, either in the form of pills or a liquid solution that you can drink. Your doctor may also recommend certain vitamin and mineral supplements that can help your body absorb the supplement more effectively. Some patients benefit from taking these supplements before meals and at bedtime in order to maximize the absorption rate. For more severe cases of anemia, your doctor may recommend that you undergo IV therapy. In this procedure, you will receive the nutrients through a vein in your arm. This can provide faster results than oral supplementation alone.

In addition to treating the underlying cause of the anemia, you can also take steps to prevent complications from developing. This includes avoiding medications that cause gastrointestinal upset as well as certain foods that can cause constipation. You may also need to increase your water intake to ensure that your body is properly hydrated. A healthy diet can also help prevent further complications from occurring. Make sure that you are drinking plenty of water and eating plenty of foods with fiber, including vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and legumes. These dietary changes can help nourish your digestive system and prevent constipation.

Arizona Dental Heights, situated in Mesa, AZ, is equipped with modern technologies and expert dentists who provide the best services to patients. Call (480) 525-6000 and schedule an appointment with the dentist in Mesa, AZ, to learn more about the dental services we offer. 

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