Years ago, if you went to a physician for suspected heart disease, the last thing they would have thought to do was refer you to a gum specialist. These days, however, things have changed, as science continues to shed light on the connection between these two seemingly disconnected regions of the body. (source) The same goes for pregnancy, diabetes, and a number of other conditions.
In the past five years alone, interest in possible links between mouth/tooth health and body health has skyrocketed. Truth is, your oral health is far more important than you might have realized, and we are becoming increasingly aware of the connection between the body and the mouth, teeth, and gums.
What conditions could be linked to oral health?
Endocarditis – An infection of the inner lining of your heart. This can happen when germs and bacteria from your mouth spread throughout your bloodstream and attach themselves to damaged areas of your heart.
Cardiovascular disease – As mentioned in the first paragraph, research shows that heart disease, clogged arteries, and stroke might be associated with a decline in oral health.
Diabetes – Studies have shown that gum disease is more frequent and severe among people who have diabetes. Research also shows that people who have gum disease have a harder time controlling their blood sugar levels.
These are just a few of many health conditions linked with oral health.
“Physicians are taking a more holistic approach to their patients’ overall health.” – Sally Cram, DDS, PC, consumer advisor for the American Dental Association.