Oral Systemic Connection

“I came to the dentist about my teeth. Why are we talking about my heart?”

The Oral Systemic Connection is a link between your overall health and the health of your mouth. This is not a new finding. Poor oral health has been proven to be “connected” to heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, dementia, and pregnancy complications. The oral germs that cause gum disease can also spread through the body in the bloodstream and are linked to diabetes, some forms of cancer, and heart disease.

Many bacteria can and do enter your mouth. Good dental hygiene (brushing, flossing, and rinsing) is essential in keeping the bacteria from entering your body.

Diabetics are more prone to dental complications, including dry mouth, infection, gum disease, and cavities. The relationship between type I diabetes and type II diabetes and periodontal disease has been referred to as the “sixth complication of diabetes.”

The dry mouth that diabetics often have also increase the risk of periodontal disease. Using an oral rinse or artificial saliva, sucking on ice chips, chewing sugarless gum or mints, or drinking water could help with this.

Set up an appointment with Dr. Smith or Dr. Buring to find out if your oral health could be causing a problem with any of your other systems.