Oral Health and General Health: What’s the Connection?

| February 16, 2009

Did you know that ideal general health starts with optimal oral health?  Failure to adequately care for your teeth and gums can result in the development of medical conditions far more serious than gum disease and tooth loss.

Studies suggest that a number of secondary health issues can be caused as a result of poor oral hygiene.  The mouth is often the mirror of the body.  Many diseases appear first in the mouth and are thus found while the patient is in the dental chair.

Research has shown and experts agree that there is a link between periodontal(gum) diseases and other chronic inflammatory conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.

When an inflammatory condition is suspected or diagnosed, it is important to consult with both a general physician and a dental health professional. Sometimes the only way to detect periodontal diseases is through a periodontal evaluation. A periodontal evaluation may be especially important if you:

  • Have a high risk for periodontal diseases.
  • Have heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease or osteoporosis, or are thinking of becoming pregnant.
  • Have a sore or irritation in your mouth that does not get better within two weeks.