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Shoal Creek Dental Care
Robert C. Harger, DDS
Creating Beautiful Smiles

Mouth-Body Connection

Mouth-Body Connection

There is a correlation between whole body health and dental health. Your oral cavity is home to a diverse biome that works to keep you healthy. Maintaining optimal bacterial balance is imperative to preventing systemic disease, disease in the body.

More and more research is concluding that oral health is a key indicator of overall body health. 

Heart Disease
Experts think there may be a link between oral health and heart disease. However, if you have severe gum disease—periodontitis—you are twice as likely to have heart disease. The theory is that bacteria from your inflamed gums can travel through your body and reach your heart, causing cardiovascular problems. The healthier you keep your teeth and gums, the lower your risk of heart disease from problems in the mouth.

Diabetes
Diabetes can cause periodontitis, the severe form of gum disease. Your gums may start to pull away from your teeth, which can make them loose or even fall out. Good dental hygiene and regular dental appointments can help reduce your risk of gum disease. Our office uses the Solea laser to remove diseased, infected and inflamed soft tissue, reducing bleeding, and stimulating healthy tissue to form. 

Long-Term Kidney Disease
There's a two-way link between long-term kidney disease and severe gum problems. Chronic kidney disease can lead to poor bone health, heart disease, and high blood pressure, all of which have a connection to gum disease. In turn, chronic gum infection can cause inflammation elsewhere in the body, which can further hurt your kidneys. Everyone needs to take care of their teeth and gums, but if you have kidney disease, a minor infection in your mouth could develop into something more serious. Brush, floss, and see your dentist regularly.

Lung Disease
Lung diseases like COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), bronchitis, and pneumonia may be linked to gum disease, an increase in harmful bacteria in your mouth. The bacteria can travel to your lungs and could trigger lung disease. Work with your dentist to keep your gums healthy, and tell your doctor if you have gum disease and lung symptoms like a cough or shortness of breath.

Osteoporosis
If you have osteoporosis, which typically affects older women and men, your bones thin and become more fragile. Your dentist may suspect osteoporosis if you are older and have loose teeth or a loose denture, which are strong signs of weakened bones in the rest of your body. Dental X-rays may show that your jawbone has become less dense, which causes the loose teeth. Don’t wait until your annual physical. Talk with your doctor now if your dentist sees signs of the condition.

Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is also linked to gum disease by inflammation. Many studies suggest that RA increases the chance you’ll develop gum disease, and having gum disease increases your risk of RA. Studies show the more teeth you lose, the more severe your RA is likely to be. The important message for people with RA, and for everyone, is to see your dentist regularly and take steps to prevent gum disease: brush and floss every day, and eat healthy, nutritious food that is low in sugar and acid.

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