I. Stephen Brown, DDS
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Archive for April, 2019

The Oral Systemic Link

Tuesday, April 30th, 2019

You know that looking after your oral health is important if you want to keep your teeth and the rest of your mouth healthy. But did you know that your oral health can also have an impact on your overall health? As well as preventing gum disease and other oral health problems, taking care of your oral health can help to prevent a number of conditions, from memory disorders to heart disease. The link between your oral health and the rest of your body is called the oral systemic link, the oral-systemic-connection or the mouth-body connection.

Here’s how your oral health is linked to your overall health.

Gum Disease and Other Illnesses

Preventing gum disease can help to prevent a number of other conditions. One factor that might link periodontal disease with other conditions is inflammation. Many conditions, such as diabetes, can cause oral inflammation, and oral inflammation from gum disease could also increase the likelihood of conditions that cause inflammation or other kinds. Inflammation from gingivitis and periodontal disease can be a trigger for infection in other parts of the body, so catching these conditions as soon as possible is essential.

Conditions Linked to Oral Health

A variety of health conditions have been linked to oral health. They include certain types of cancer, heart disease and even memory loss and low birth weight in babies.

Infection in the body caused by gum disease can increase the risk of conditions such as pancreatic cancer and heart disease. Pancreatic cancer is one of the most difficult to treat, partly because it is harder to diagnose than many other types of cancer. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the US, with one in four deaths resulting from heart disease, and coronary heart disease being the most common type, according to the CDC.

The link between gum disease and diabetes is important to consider too. Periodontal disease can make it more difficult to control blood sugar levels, and diabetes can make it more difficult to fight off infections. People with type 2 diabetes are three times more likely to develop dental problems, and people with type 1 diabetes are also more at risk than others. It’s important for people with diabetes or those who are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes to take good care of their oral health.

There is also evidence that gum disease and oral health could be linked to memory problems and memory loss conditions such as dementia. Studies have shown that better oral health could be linked to better cognitive function and memory, so taking care of your oral health could be important to help take care of your brain.

Good oral health is essential if you want to look after your whole body. While it’s important to look after your oral health so that your teeth stay healthy, it’s not just your mouth that is affected. Taking good care of your oral health keeps your overall health on top too. Contact us to schedule an appointment for gum disease treatment today!