Dental Tips

Look At Your Oral Health From A Systemic Approach

Studies show that conditions like gum disease has a link to systemic health conditions like:

– Stroke
– Heart Attack
– Diabetes
– Obesity
– Premature birth

A correlation between these conditions (and several others) and the status of gum heath suggests that uncontrolled gum disease can decrease the body’s resistance to other diseases and health conditions.¹ Bacteria from periodontal pockets can enter into the bloodstream and build up in arteries. It also places a strain on the immune system as the body attempts to deal with more than one condition.

Reversing gum disease and improving oral health can alleviate some of the strain on the immune system so that the body can work better to control other health issues. Likewise, ignoring gum disease and not receiving periodontal treatment therapy or just giving up flossing can do the opposite. Bleeding gums allow an open doorway for plaque biofilm to spread to the rest of the body. Using an electric toothbrush, flossing or using a water flosser can reduce inflammation and bleeding within 2 weeks.

Some bacteria cannot be removed with home care and must be removed with professional help. When plaque has been on the tooth for more than 24 hours, it calcifies into a substance called tartar or calculus. Tartar cannot be brushed or flossed off and is removed with special tools by your dentist or hygienist.

It has been said that the mouth is a window into the body, and it is true. By keeping oral hygiene and oral health in tiptop shape, patients can reduce their risk of developing other health conditions.

1. Jepsen S, Kebschull M, Deschner J.; Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz. [Relationship between periodontitis and systemic diseases]. [Article in German] 2011 Sep;54(9):1089-96.