There is an increasing amount of scientific evidence confirming the correlation between the health of the mouth and the overall body. Infections and bacteria in the mouth can spread throughout the body and lead to a host of problematic health issues. Conversely, many diseases, conditions and medications can affect your oral health. Therefore, your dental visit is not simply just about your teeth. It is also about your overall health.
Many diseases and conditions can affect your oral health. For example, people may get more infections in the mouth if their immune system is weak. The immune system protects your body from illness and infection. It can be weakened by disease, by drugs taken to prevent the rejection of transplanted organs, or as a side effect of cancer chemotherapy drugs.
Medicine for other conditions also can affect the health of your mouth. For example, many drugs cause dry mouth. This can increase your risk of dental decay and yeast infections. It also can affect taste.
If you have certain medical conditions, you may require specialized oral and dental care. In some instances your physician may need to be consulted with to determine the best method by which to care for you. Be sure to make us aware of all changes in your medical history at the start of your appointment.
Your oral health also can affect other medical conditions. For example, researchers have linked the inflammatory response to the bacteria that cause periodontal disease to a number of serious medical conditions such as heart disease and heart attack, stroke, pre-term childbirth, diabetes and respiratory disease.
Heart Disease & Heart Attack
Recent studies have shown that people with periodontal disease are 2.7 times more likely to suffer a heart attack.
Women with periodontal disease are 7-8 times more likely to give birth prematurely to a low birth-weight baby.
Studies have also shown that people with periodontal disease are 3 times more likely to suffer a stroke.
Periodontal infection can raise blood sugar in diabetic patients making diabetes much harder to control.
Periodontal bacteria in the mouth can be breathed in and increase the severity of such respiratory diseases as pneumonia, bronchitis and emphysema.