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Is it Scary that your Dental Health Mirrors Overall Health?

Maintaining healthy gums through regular dental visits contributes to whole body health, and the opposite is also true. In recent years, studies suggest more and more that your dental health is often reflected in the health of your body and vice versa. This could be loosely compared to Us, a horror movie released in 2019 that is largely focused on alarming mirror images. It actually could be quite scary to realize that what is found gazing in your mouth is a dual image that signifies overall health. The following is information linking oral health issues with health problems in other parts of the body.

Cardiovascular Disease

Research shows that inflammation caused by oral bacteria is linked to strokes, heart disease, and clogged arteries. One study found that the risk of coronary artery disease is heightened if a person has an infection of the root tip of a tooth, which is often a symptomless condition. These types of infections that can affect heart health are typically discovered as a result of looking at X-rays of the mouth for other reasons.


Endocarditis is inflammation of the heart’s inner lining, and dental problems can be the cause. When germs, such as bacteria or fungi, are in your mouth or other parts of the body, they can spread through your bloodstream and become attached to areas of your heart that are already damaged. Endocarditis is a serious condition that can result in life-threatening complications.

Digestion Problems

Dental health and a healthy digestive system are closely linked. For example, symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, can severely damage the teeth because of reflux acids. Those same acids can also cause halitosis or bad breath.

Digestion begins with chemical and physical processes in the mouth. Any dental infections you may have could affect the entire digestive system. Digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome and intestinal failure sometimes originate in the mouth.

Pregnancy and Birth

Periodontal disease in an expectant mother exposes her unborn child to a variety of health risks, and the threat is greater if the mother has diabetes. What complicates the issue is that pregnancy in itself increases an expectant mother’s risk of developing periodontal disease or gingivitis, which is inflammation of the gum tissue. Through extensive research, both of these oral issues have been linked to preeclampsia, premature birth, and low birth weight of the newborn. To reduce the risk of these pre-natal and post-natal complications, expectant women who have signs of periodontal disease should immediately seek treatment from a dentist.

Diseases that Affect Oral Health

Just as dental problems cause other health issues, the reverse is also true. The following are among conditions that have a negative impact on oral health:

  • Diabetes increases the risk of developing gum disease.
  • Osteoporosis causes bones to weaken and become brittle, and the condition is linked to tooth loss and periodontal bone loss.
  • As Alzheimer’s disease progresses in individuals, oral health tends to worsen, as well.
  • HIV/AIDS often leads to painful mucosal lesions in the mouth.

Don’t be Scared! Visit Wyandotte Medical and Dental Today

You may not have previously known about the close connection between your overall health and dental health. Is the news a bit disturbing, as you are overdue for a dental visit? No need to be afraid of the dentist! Schedule an appointment with the friendly dental professionals at Wyandotte Medical and Dental. Call 705-242-2256 today.


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