How is Oral Health Linked to Systemic Disease?
We all know how important our oral health is. If we don’t brush, we’ll get cavities. If we get cavities, we could suffer tooth pain, decay, and even loss. If we don’t floss, we could get periodontal disease. If we get periodontal disease, we could suffer tooth pain, loose teeth, and tooth loss.
But did you know that your oral health can impact your general health? Oral health can tell us a lot about our general health right while we sit in the dental chair.
At Kodish-Perez Dental Group, Dr. Federico Perez and Dr. Gary Kodish are here to make sure our Fort Lauderdale, FL patients not only have good oral health but also that we catch any dental or general health issues as early as we can.
How are oral health and general health linked?
Just like our bodies, our mouths contain bacteria. While this bacteria is harmless for the most part, we sometimes get infections, decay, or gum disease that can lead to bad bacteria. With a direct path to our digestive and respiratory tracts, these bacterial concerns could move from an oral issue to a general issue if not treated and cared for properly. Oral health issues have been linked to conditions like endocarditis, cardiovascular disease, pregnancy and birth complications, pneumonia, and more. But how is that possible? Well, it has to do with bacteria spreading from one part of the body and impacting several other areas of the body. Here are just a few examples:
- Endocarditis: This is an infection in the inner lining of your heart and it typically develops when germs from another part of your body – the mouth, for example – spread through the bloodstream and make their way to certain areas of the heart.
- Periodontal (gum) disease: This has been linked to early birth and low birth weights.
- Pneumonia: When certain bacteria from your mouth enters your lungs, it can cause respiratory issues, like pneumonia and other diseases.
Can systemic disease impact oral health?
Conversely, the same way our oral health impacts our general health, our general health can impact our oral health. Diabetes, for example, makes it difficult for the body to fight off infection, so those with the condition may often find themselves at greater risk for gum disease. HIV/AIDS causes lesions and sores in the mouth, and osteoporosis can be linked to periodontal bone and tooth loss.
How can I make sure my oral health does not impact my general health?
For reasons such as those listed above, Dr. Kodish and Dr. Perez encourage their Fort Lauderdale, FL patients to do a few things to ensure they have good oral health:
- Keep up your twice-yearly cleanings and annual dental exams so we can continue to monitor your oral health
- Maintain a good at-home cleaning routine that includes brushing twice a day and flossing
- Keep up good general health by eating healthy foods and having a good exercise routine, as well as visiting your doctor annually.
No matter what, Kodish-Perez Dental group is here to help you. We offer a variety of services, including preventive care, root canal therapy, and emergency dental services when necessary. It’s not just your teeth we care about – it’s you. We are here for all of our Fort Lauderdale, FL patients when you need us. To schedule an appointment with one of our skilled dentists, give us a call today!