The mouth is connected to the rest of the body. It is not news that there is a significant link between one’s oral health and overall health.
Dental disease is one of the most common diseases and if untreated it could turn into a serious and destructive chronic infection.
Poor oral health and poor general health are likely to occur together and have an impact on each other.
Diabetics are more prone to several oral health conditions, including tooth decay, periodontal (gum) disease, dry mouth and infection.
People with diabetes are more likely to have periodontal disease than people without diabetes, probably because diabetics are more susceptible to infection anywhere in the body.
In diabetics, severity of dental disease is often linked to how well a person’s diabetes is under control.
Diabetic patients should contact their dentist immediately if they observe any of the symptoms of periodontal disease, including red, swollen or sore gums or gums that bleed easily or are pulling away from the teeth; chronic bad breath; teeth that are loose or separating; pus appearing between the teeth and gums; or changes in the alignment of the teeth.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a collective term for diseases of the heart and blood vessels.
Despite significant advances in the treatment of CVD and for some of its risk factors, it remains the cause of more deaths than any other disease.
Studies reported about a decade ago demonstrated that both periodontal disease and total loss of teeth were associated with greater risk for cardiovascular disease.
Pregnant women with periodontal disease are seven times more likely to deliver a premature, low-birth-weight baby.
The well-established risk of pregnancy gingivitis (gum inflammation) related to hormonal changes during pregnancy should be addressed by oral hygiene instruction, professional instrumentation and frequent monitoring as necessary.
There was good evidence that improved oral hygiene and frequent professional oral health care reduces the progression or occurrence of respiratory diseases among high-risk elderly adults living in nursing homes and especially those in intensive care units.
There was fair evidence that the risk of pneumonia was related to level of oral health. There was some evidence that shows a weak association between Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and oral health.
Other Systemic Diseases
Periodontitis has been associated with several other systemic diseases including chronic kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, cognitive impairment, obesity, metabolic syndrome and cancer.
Overall. while current research has not established causation, but the correlations are notable.
The good news is oral disease is largely preventable. A clean mouth will lead to a clean body.