February 21st, 2020
Many people mistakenly believe that whatever happens in their mouth will not affect the rest of their body or vice versa. But that’s not so. Whatever happens in your mouth is broadcast to the rest of your body.
Your oral health and your overall health are irrevocably connected. And more evidence is mounting to confirm that tooth decay and gum disease bear direct links to ailments such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease.
This is why regular dental exams work as effective whole-body prevention and detection tools for disease and other ailments. And getting there sooner rather than later can be the difference between healthier and sicker.
Gum disease is a double-edged ailment when it comes to diabetes. First, diabetes stresses your whole body. You have a tougher time fighting infections, including gum disease, when your blood sugar is out of whack. But your body also has a difficult time controlling your blood sugar when you have gum disease.
“People with gum disease have two to three times the risk of having a heart attack, stroke, or other serious cardiovascular event.”1 This is an accepted statistic within the dental community. However, what isn’t so clear is whether this link between oral health and heart health is direct or indirect. But continued studies are drawing a strong line connecting the body’s immune response to gum disease – inflammation – as a very real facilitator of declining heart health.The lack of gum disease is not sure-fire insurance against heart disease, but maintaining optimal oral health certainly adds to your prevention arsenal.
With regular visits, dentists can help tobacco users fight off and detect decay, disease, and cancer before it takes hold.
Cancer patients will want to keep the dentist on their protocol list. A body already fighting cancer will only become weaker when trying to fight additional disease and infection in the mouth.
Here are six additional conditions your dentist can help remedy that could be signs or facilitators of more serious issues:
Whatever happens in your mouth doesn’t stay in your mouth. Getting to the dentist sooner rather than later will only amplify your chances of warding off disease and preserving your oral and whole-body health.
1. Gum disease and heart disease: The common thread, Harvard Health Publishing, 2018
Alyssia Ready, DDWA