Recent studies at several universities by leading dentists have explored the connection between oral hygiene and glaucoma. Though this investigation is still in its early stages, preliminary evidence seems to suggest that the growth of excess bacteria inside the mouth might be a catalyst for the development of a particular type of glaucoma known as open-angle glaucoma.
What Is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a condition that is usually the result of fluid build up in the front of the eye. Open-angle glaucoma is the most extensive form of glaucoma in North America. Open-angle glaucoma results in a fluid buildup that in turn increases the pressure in your eye, which can then lead to damage to the optic nerve in the eye.
Can Poor Dental Health Cause Glaucoma?
According to Dr. Louis Pasquale, MD, from the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary at Harvard Medical School in Boston, the link between dental hygiene and glaucoma could result from infection and inflammation at the base of your tooth which releases inflammatory agents that extend to the eye and potentially lead to glaucoma.
A recent publication in the ‘Journal of Glaucoma’ states that “the number of teeth ( which is an oral health indicator) and alterations in the amounts of oral bacteria might bear a positive correlation to glaucoma pathology.”
While the results are still preliminary, if confirmed by subsequent studies, it could indicate that maintaining good oral health has the potential to reduce the occurrence of open-angle glaucoma.
Dental Health and Eye Conditions
It is important to note here that an eye condition that has already been linked to maintaining good oral health is ‘Cataract.’ Toxic elements from mercury fillings have been found to increase the risk of cataracts, retinitis pigmentosa, iritis, color-vision issues, and other eye conditions.
Luckily, cataracts from mercury toxins can easily be prevented and treated with over-the-counter antioxidant eye drops, available for purchase online or across the counter at many drug stores.
Can a Tooth Infection Lead To Eye Infection?
When left untreated, an infected tooth can cause pain and lead to infection in other areas of your body, including your eyes. If your infected tooth is at the upper part of your mouth, the swelling can progress upwards and, in some cases, cause your eye to swell shut.
This spread of infection can potentially lead to a severe condition called cavernous sinus thrombosis, a critical and life-threatening sinus cavity infection, that requires immediate attention along with antibiotic treatment.
Does Tooth Extraction Effect Eyesight?
Many people believe that tooth extraction, or having a tooth pulled out can affect eyesight; however, this may not be the case. There is as yet no conclusive evidence available that indicates tooth extraction negatively affects vision.
Dental Health for People With Glaucoma
At this time, there are no specific dental care guidelines for people suffering glaucoma. Unless there are conclusive findings that confirm a likely connection between dental health and glaucoma, patients suffering from glaucoma must continue to maintain the same dental health regimen as everyone else.
Afterall good oral hygiene isn’t just important for your eyes; it’s essential to your overall well-being. Remember to visit your dentist and optometrist regularly.