THE MOUTH IS A GATEWAY TO THE BODY

Your oral health may be a window to your overall health. The mouth, like many areas of the body, is loaded with bacteria. Proper oral hygiene (i.e., flossing and brushing) along with your body’s natural defenses help keep these bacteria under control. Research suggests that oral bacteria and the inflammation associated with gum disease may play a role in chronic diseases, such as:

  • Endocarditis – an infection in your mouth spreads via the bloodstream and attaches to the inner lining of the heart.
  • Cardiovascular disease – heart disease, clogged arteries and stroke might be linked to inflammation and infections of oral bacteria.
  • Pregnancy and birth – periodontitis (severe gum disease) has been linked to low birth weight and premature birth. 

Talk to your dentist as soon as an oral health problem arises. Taking good care of your teeth is a long-term investment in your overall health!

References:

  1. Casamassimo PS. Oral and systemic health. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 3, 2016.
  2. Linkages with general health. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/DataStatistics/SurgeonGeneral/sgr/welcome.htm. Accessed March 3, 2016.